Melaloncha acicula, 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: 44

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

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scientific name

Melaloncha acicula

new species

Melaloncha acicula   new species

Fig. 33 View FIGURES 32–42

Recognition. This species is extremely similar to M. hyalinipennis   , but differs by characters outlined in the key, especially the narrower ovipositor.

Description. Female (male unknown). Body length 1.4–1.7 mm. Frons orange, bare of setulae except few near eye margin; ocellar triangle black. Mean frontal width 0.46, range 0.44–0.48. Medial furrow absent. Ocular setae black dorsally, brown laterally and ventrally; genal setae brown. Flagellomere 1 basally white, apically yellow; aristomeres 1–2 yellow, 3 brown. Palpus white; palpal setulae brown. Scutum dark brown, except anterolateral corners yellowish­brown. Scutellum dark brown. Pleuron mostly yellow, except posterior apex of anepisternum, anepimeron, and basalare brown. Legs yellowishbrown, except apex of hind femur dark brown. Combined length of foretarsomeres equal to length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws extremely small, recurved, with large basal lobe. Mean costal length 0.45, range 0.43–0.48. Halter yellow. Abdominal tergites blackishbrown, except tergite 6 yellow anteriorly, brown posteriorly. Venter of abdomen yellow. Ovipositor yellow at base, mostly dark brown; slender (about the size of hind femur), slight curved dorsally; with short, scattered setae; dorsal sclerite of intersegment 7–8 with long, narrow point.

Host. In Colombia one specimen was collected attacking Plebeia sp.   and another attacking Nannotrigona testaceicornis testaceicornis Lepeletier     .

Geographical distribution. Amazonian South America.

Derivation of specific epithet. Latin noun for needle, referring to the relatively narrow ovipositor.

Holotype. ♀, COLOMBIA: Amazonas : PNN Amacayacu, 3.82°S, 70.26°W, 8–12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, M. Sharkey, Malaise trap #5 [ LACM ENT 106767 View Materials ] ( UNCB). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes. BRAZIL: Amazonas: Manaus, Reserve Ducke, 3.13°S, 60.02°W, 1♀, 8–15.iv.1992, J. Vidal, 1­4­ 10m ( INPA). COLOMBIA: Amazonas: PNN Amacayacu, 3.82°S, 70.26°W, 5♀, 8–12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, M. Sharkey, Malaise trap#2, #5, #9, #13 ( LACM, UNCB), 1♀, total sweep sample, M. Sharkey ( LACM), 1♀, 12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, honey on cards ( LACM), 2♀, 12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, attacking host Plebeia sp.   , Nannotrigona testaceicornis testaceicornis (LACM)   . ECUADOR: Napo: Yasuni NP, 0.63°S, 76.6°W, 3♀, 3–20.xi.1998, T. Pape, B. Viklund, Malaise trap ( LACM, QCAZ, ZMUK).


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia


Museo de Zoologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador