Melaloncha sinistra Borgmeier

Brown, Brian V., 2006, Revision of the untreated taxa of Melaloncha s. s. bee-killing flies (Diptera: Phoridae), Zootaxa 1280 (1), pp. 1-68: 35

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

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Melaloncha sinistra Borgmeier


Melaloncha sinistra Borgmeier  

Fig. 20 View FIGURES 13–24

Melaloncha sinistra Borgmeier, 1971b, p. 134   (♂, ♀; Ribeirão Preto, Sao Paulo).— Borgmeier & Prado, 1975, p. 54 (full description).— Simôes et al., 1980 (natural history).

Holotype. ♀, BRAZIL: São Paulo: Ribeirão Preto , 21.19°S, 47.78°W, vi–vii.1971, R. Zucchi, nest entrance Scaptotrigona postica   [ LACM ENT 122343 View Materials ] (examined; MZSP). Note that the type series was unlabeled in the Borgmeier collection, other than the “type” and “cotype” labels. I put proper labels on all the specimens. GoogleMaps  

Recognition. Among M. sinistra   ­group taxa, females of this species are distinctive for the elongate, straight ovipositor with a dorsally curved apex and the short ovipositor setae.

Males key to M. costaricana Borgmeier   in the latest key ( Borgmeier 1971b), but that species has the entire thorax dark brown in color.

Description. Female. Body length 1.9–2.2 mm. Frons orange­yellow, punctate; ocellar triangle black. Mean frontal width 0.37 head width, range 0.35–0.39. Ocular and genal setae black. Flagellomere 1 basally white, mostly yellow; aristomeres 1–2 light brown, 3 black. Palpus white; palpal setae black. Scutum dark brown, except anterolateral corners light brown. Scutellum dark brown. Pleuron mixture of light and dark brown color. Legs yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur with large dark­colored spot. Forefemur in ventral view with broad, even expansion along apical one­half. Combined length of foretarsomeres approximately 0.5 length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws recurved, with large basal lobe. Mean costal length 0.47 wing length, range 0.46–0.49. Halter yellow. Abdominal tergites black, with silver pollinosity anteriorly. Venter of abdomen dark gray. Ovipositor dark brown to black; elongate, slightly dorsally and laterally flattened, curved dorsally at apex; with short erect setae dorsally and longer, posterior setae ventroapically (these setae are apparently broken off at the apex in the holotype­ all other specimens have them more fully developed).

Male. Similar in color to female. Basal one­third of cercus brown, apical two­thirds yellow. Surstylus broadly rounded, with sparse setae.

Host. Simôes et al. (1980) described the natural history of this species in great detail. Flies attack the host bees, Scaptotrigona postica   (L.) at the nest entrance, and can parasitize up to one­third of the colony’s workers.

Geographical distribution. Southeastern Brazil.

Other material examined. BRAZIL: São Paulo: Ribeirão Preto , 21.19°S, 47.78°W, 4♂, 4♀, ix.1971, R. Zucchi, nest entrance Scaptotrigona postica (LACM, MZSP)   GoogleMaps   .


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo














Melaloncha sinistra Borgmeier

Brown, Brian V. 2006

Melaloncha sinistra

Borgmeier, T. & do Prado, A. P. 1975: 54
Borgmeier, T. 1971: 134