Melaloncha lacerna, Brown, 2006

Brown, Brian V., 2006, Revision of the untreated taxa of Melaloncha s. s. bee-killing flies (Diptera: Phoridae), Zootaxa 1280 (1), pp. 1-68 : 30-31

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Melaloncha lacerna

new species

Melaloncha lacerna new species

Figs. 15 View FIGURES 13–24 , 58 View FIGURES 56–61

Recognition. Females differ from other similar species ( M. laselvae and M. zurquiensis ) by the narrowed ovipositor in lateral view, the darker pleuron, and the relatively gentle dilation of the apex of the forefemur.

Males key to M. costaricana in Borgmeier (1971b), from which they differ by the longer setae on the surstylus. The frons of this species is narrower than in males of M. zurquiensis , but is extremely similar to that of M. laselvae , which lacks the median frontal furrow.

Description. Female. Body length 2.1–2.6 mm. Frons yellow, punctate; ocellar triangle black. Mean frontal width 0.35 head width, range 0.33–0.37. Median furrow present, shallow. Ocular and genal setae black. Flagellomere 1 basally white, mostly yellow; aristomeres 1–2 yellow, 3 black. Palpus white; palpal setae black. Scutum dark brown, except anterolateral corners light brown. Scutellum dark brown. Pleuron dark brown, except proepisternum and anterior portion of anepisternum light brown. Legs yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur with large dark­colored spot; coxae strongly contrasting in color to dark pleuron. Combined length of foretarsomeres approximately 0.5 length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws recurved, with large basal lobe. Mean costal length 0.50 wing length, range 0.48–0.52. Halter yellow. Abdominal tergites black, with silver pollinosity anteriorly. Venter of abdomen dark gray. Ovipositor dark brown; curved dorsally at midlength; abruptly narrowed by ventral margin curving dorsally in apical onethird in lateral view; with long dorsal setae and extremely long posteroapical setae.

Male. Frons orange, except ocellar triangle black. Median furrow present, shallow. Flagellomere 1 basally white, apically brown. Palpus white; palpal setulae black. Scutum dark brown, except light brown anterolaterally. Pleuron dark brown, except proepisternum and anterior portion of anepisternum light brown. Legs yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur dark brown. Abdominal tergites black, anteriorly with silver pollinosity. Venter of abdomen gray. Basal one­third of cercus dark brown, apical two­thirds whitish­yellow. Surstylus with relatively long apical setae.

Host. Females were attracted to mixed aggregations of bees in Bolivia.

Geographical distribution. Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil.

Derivation of specific epithet. Latin for a type of cloak, referring to the extensive dark coloration of the thorax.

Holotype. ♀, BOLIVIA: La Paz: Coroico, Hotel Don Quixote , 16.19°S, 67.72°W, 5.iv.2004, B. Brown, E. Zumbado, Phoenix palm flowers [ LACM ENT 194266 View Materials ] ( CBFC). GoogleMaps

Paratypes. BOLIVIA: La Paz: 40 km N Caranavi, Cumbre Alto Beni, 15.83°S, 67.56°W, 1♀, 16.iv.2004, E. Zumbado, honey spray, 1600 m ( LACM) GoogleMaps , Hotel Don Quixote , 16.19°S, 67.72°W, 4♂,, 1♂, 1♀, 6.iv.2001, B. Brown, G. Kung, on palm flowers, 1750 m ( LACM) GoogleMaps , 1♀ (head, ovipositor and foreleg mounted on a slide; rest of body used for molecular analysis), 5.iv.2004, B. Brown, E. Zumbado, Phoenix palm flowers, 1750 m ( LACM) . BRAZIL: Santa Catarina: Nova Teutônia , 27.18°S, 52.38°W, 1♀, 8.xi.1949, F. Plaumann, 300–500 m ( CNCI) GoogleMaps . PERU: San Martin: Estación “Biodiversidad”, 19 km NE Tarapoto, 6.46°S, 76.29°W, 1♀, 7.vii.2004, B. Brown, E. Corona, honey­spray, 950 m ( LACM) GoogleMaps .


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Canadian National Collection Insects