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Signal Flies

Signal Flies

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Review of the Australasian Genera of Signal Flies (Diptera: Platystomatidae)
Review of the Australasian Genera of Signal Flies (Diptera: Platystomatidae)

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Review of the Australasian Genera of Signal Flies(Diptera: Platystomatidae)
D
AVID
K. M
C
A
LPINE
Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney NSW 2010, Australia
A
BSTRACT
. The distribution patterns of platystomatid genera in the 12 recognized provinces of theAustralasian Region are recorded. Notes are provided on biology and behaviour, including parasitismby fungi and strepsipterans, and mimicry of other insects and spiders. Means of separation from otheracalyptrate families are provided. A key to Australasian genera is given. The subfamily Angitulinae isplaced in synonymy of Platystomatinae. The subfamily classification is briefly discussed. The followingnew genera are described:
 Aetha, Bama, Eumeka, Hysma, Par, Phlyax, Signa, Tarfa, Terzia, Tomeus.Gonga
and
Polimen
are new subgenera of 
 Naupoda
and
 Bama
respectively. The genus
 Lasioxiria
Hendelis a new synonym of 
 Atopognathus
Bigot.
Chaetostichia
Enderlein is a new synonym of 
Scholastes
Loew.
 Eopiara
Frey, described as a subgenus of 
Piara
Loew, is raised to generic status. The genera
 Angituloides
Hendel and
Giraffomyia
Sharp are reduced to subgenera of 
 Angitula
Walker. The followingnew species are described:
 Aetha cowanae, Bama (Polimen) shinonagai, Eumeka hendeli, Hysma lacteum,Paryphodes hospes, Signa mouldsi, Tarfa bowleyae, Terzia saigusai, Tomeus wyliei, Zealandortalisgregi
.
 Lule speiseri
de Meijere, 1914 is a new synonym of 
Phasiamya metallica
Walker, 1849. Newgeneric combinations are made as follows:
 Angitula austeni
(Hendel, 1913) (
 Angituloides
);
 Angitulairregularis
(Malloch, 1940) (
Giraffomyia
);
 Angitula regularis
(Malloch, 1940) (
Giraffomyia
);
 Angitulasolomonensis
(Malloch, 1940) (
Giraffomyia
);
 Angitula willeyi
(Sharp, 1899) (
Giraffomyia
);
 Atopognathushirsutus
(Hendel, 1914a) (
 Lasioxiria
);
 Bama bipunctatum
(Hendel, 1914a) (
 Euxestomoea
);
 Bama papuanum
(Hennig, 1940b) (
 Xiria
);
 Bama strigatum
(Hennig, 1940b) (
 Xiria
);
Chaetorivellia tarsalis
(Walker, 1861c) (
Ortalis
);
Cleitamoides trigonalis
(de Meijere, 1913) (
Cleitamia
);
 Eopiara chrysoptera
(Frey, 1964) (
Piara
);
 Eopiara elegans
(Frey, 1964) (
 Lamprogaster 
);
 Lamprophthalma egregia
(deMeijere, 1924) (
Plagiostenopterina
);
 Lamprophthalma medionotata
(de Meijere, 1924)(
Plagiostenopterina
); ?
 Microepicausta sangiensis
(de Meijere, 1916) (
 Elassogaster 
);
 Neohemigaster  fascifrons
(de Meijere, 1916) (
Pterogenia
);
 Neohemigaster guttata
(Walker, 1856) (
 Lamprogaster 
, laterin
Pterogenia
);
Par evitta
(Malloch, 1939a) (
 Elassogaster 
);
Phlyax simmondsi
(Bezzi, 1928) (
 Naupoda
);
Scholastes aduncivena
(Enderlein, 1924) (
Chaetostichia
);
 Xiriella lunaris
(de Meijere, 1916) (
 Lule
).
M
C
A
LPINE
, D
AVID
K., 2001. Review of the Australasian genera of signal flies (Diptera: Platystomatidae).
 Recordsof the Australian Museum
53(2): 113–199.Records of the Australian Museum (2001) Vol. 53: 113–199. ISSN 0067–1975© Copyright Australian Museum, 2001
 
114 Records of the Australian Museum (2001) Vol. 53
The Platystomatidae, recently termed signal flies, areprobably among the four largest families of acalyptrateSchizophora in the Australasian Region, but in the Americasand in the Palaearctic Region the representation iscomparatively small. There are about 119 known worldgenera and nearly 1200 described species. In theAustralasian Region there are 54 recognized genera and c.493 probably valid described species. At least 220 additionalundescribed Australasian species have been sighted incollections, and I estimate that the total Australasianplatystomatid fauna is unlikely to include less than 900 species.It is the main aim of this paper to provide means of identification and general basic information on the generaof Platystomatidae living in the Australasian Region,including the Oceanian Region, as delimited by Evenhuis(1989) and in the section on Geographic Distribution below.
Methods and terminology
In general I follow a traditional system with minimal use of terms implying doubtful, unproved, or, for present purposes,irrelevant homologies. Details are given by McAlpine(1973a), with most terms also explained by Harrison (1959),Crosskey (1973), and Colless & McAlpine (1991). Pairedbristles and other paired structures are described in thesingular, except where the context makes this inappropriate.The antenna is treated as a six-segmented appendage andthe segments are numbered consecutively from the base(Fig. 96). The greater part of the arista thus consists of segment 6 and the very short segment 4 may not be visiblein dried specimens. The system of nomenclature of wingveins (Fig. 1) is the simplest possible for one not concernedwith trans-ordinal homologies. Cell-4 index is defined asthe ratio of the length of the antepenultimate section of vein4 to the full length of the discal cell along vein 4.In using the keys and descriptions particular care shouldbe taken in interpreting the terms
bristle, setula, hair,pubescence
, and
pruinescence
(see McAlpine, 1973a).An effort has been made to make the key to generaworkable for all dried adults in good condition, providedthat a good stereo-microscope with magnifications up to×75 is used. However, because of individual variation, greatdiversity in some genera, and incomplete knowledge of thefauna, it should not be too readily assumed that specimenswhich do not key out necessarily belong in unrecordedgenera.The following abbreviations refer to institutions housingspecimens:AMAustralian Museum, SydneyAMSTZoological Museum, AmsterdamANICAustralian National Insect Collection, CSIRO,CanberraBMThe Natural History Museum, LondonBPBBernice P. Bishop Museum, HonoluluCNCCanadian National Collection, AgricultureCanada, OttawaDEIDeutsches Entomologisches Institut, EberswaldeFRILForest Research Institute, LaeHELSZoological Museum HelsinkiKONEDepartment of Agriculture and Livestock,Konedobu, Port MoresbyMNBMuseum of Natural Science at HumboldtUniversity, BerlinMNMHungarian Natural History Museum, BudapestNATNatal Museum, PietermaritzburgRMSNaturhistoriska Riksmuseet, StockholmNMWCNational Museum of Wales, Cardiff NSMTNational Science Museum, TokyoOXUniversity Museum, OxfordPMMuseum national d’Histoire naturelle, ParisUQUniversity of Queensland Insect Collection,BrisbaneUSNMNational Museum of Natural History, WashingtonWMNatural History Museum, ViennaZMCZoological Museum, CopenhagenThe following collectors’ names are abbreviated to theinitials: J.H. Barrett, D.J. Bickel, T.G. Campbell, G. Daniels,B.J. Day, A.L. Dyce, E.D. Edwards, J.L. Gressitt, G.A.Holloway, A. Hughes, J.W. Ismay, N.L. Krauss, D.K.McAlpine, B.J. Moulds, M.S. Moulds, H. Roberts, J.Sedla
ek, M. Sedla
ek, P. Shanahan, S. Shinonaga, B.J.Sinclair, H.A. Standfast, F.H. Taylor, A. Walford-Huggins,A.R. Wallace, T.A. Weir, F.R. Wylie.
Geographic distribution
The Australasian Region, the area covered in this review, isthe same as the Australasian and Oceanian Regions together,of Evenhuis (1989), who proposed no dividing line betweenthe two. The Region is thus defined in the west by Weber’sLine (“original” version of Merrill, 1945), in the north bythe northernmost islands of Micronesia and in the east bythe easternmost islands of Polynesia. To the south, I am notconcerned with islands beyond Tasmania and the two mainislands of New Zealand, as such islands probably harbour
Figure 1
.
 Euprosopia tenuicornis
Macquart, base of wing of female. Abbreviations: al, alula; ax, axillary lobe; c, costa; hb,humeral break of costa; hm, humeral crossvein; pa, postalar callusbearing postalar bristle; sc, subcosta; sq, squama; sr, suprasquamalridge; sv, stem vein (base of R); te, tegula (sexually dimorphic);v1–v6, veins one to six.
 
David K. McAlpine: Australasian Platystomatidae 115
no platystomatids. South Island, New Zealand, provides thesouthernmost recorded habitat of playtstomatids, in view of their apparent absence from southern parts of South America.On the basis of present knowledge, it appears thatAustralasia harbours the most diverse platystomatid faunaof any biogeographic region. New Guinea is likely to havea particularly large number of undiscovered species (seediscussion in McAlpine, 1994). About 80% of the speciessorted from New Caledonia remain undescribed, and itwould not be surprising if some other island groups provesignificant sources of new discoveries.Of the Australasian genera 34 (64%) are endemic to theRegion. These are:
 Achias, Aetha, Angitula, Apactoneura, Apiola, Asyntona, Atopognathus, Bama, Brea, Chaetorivellia,Cleitamia, Cleitamoides, Duomyia, Eumeka, Euxestomoea,Guamomyia, Hysma, Inium, Laglaisia, Lenophila, Loriomyia, Loxoneuroides, Mesoctenia, Montrouziera, Par,Pseudocleitamia, Pseudorichardia, Phlyax, Scotinosoma,Signa, Tarfa, Terzia, Tomeus, Zealandortalis
. Of theremaining 20 genera all except
Paryphodes
extend to theOriental Region:
 Antineura, Conicipithea, Elassogaster, Euprosopia, Lamprogaster, Lamprophthalma, Meringomeria, Microepicausta, Naupoda, Neohemigaster, Plagiostenopterina,Pogonortalis, Pseudepicausta, Pterogenia, Rhytidortalis, Rivellia, Scholastes, Trigonosoma, Zygaenula
.Eight of the Australasian genera are shared with theAfrotropical Region:
 Elassogaster, Lamprophthalma, Naupoda, Paryphodes, Plagiostenopterina, Pseudepicausta, Rivellia, Scholastes
.Five of the Australian genera are shared with the PalaearcticRegion:
 Elassogaster, Euprosopia, Lamprophthalma, Rhytidortalis, Rivellia
.Only one Australasian genus occurs naturally in theAmericas (both Nearctic and Neotropical Regions), thealmost cosmopolitan
 Rivellia
. However, an Australianspecies of 
Pogonortalis
is introduced in California.
 Duomyia
was erroneously recorded from Chile on the basis of amislabelled specimen (see McAlpine, 1973a).For the purpose of recording generic distributions, I divideAustralasia into 12 provinces as indicated in Fig. 2. Delimitationof these follows natural barriers and a degree of convenience,rather than national boundaries. Thus the biogeographicallydiffuse areas covered by the terms Indonesia, Papua NewGuinea, and Kiribati have no place in this system. Theboundaries between Micronesia and Polynesia have beensimplified, because ethnic zones are not relevant toplaytstomatid distributions, and because these zones are littleknown and probably largely depauperate in platystomatids.
Figure 2
. Provinces of Australasia which harbour platystomatids. 1, Micronesia. 2, Moluccas. 3, New Guinea. 4,Bismarck Archipelago. 5, Solomon Archipelago. 6, Vanuatu. 7, New Caledonia. 8, Fiji. 9, Australia. 10, NorfolkIsland. 11, New Zealand. 12, Tropical Polynesia. 13, excluded (Oriental Region).

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