Ropalomerid #1 (Willistoniella sp.)

This is a really odd little fly that looks like a cross between a sciomyzid (snail-killing fly) and a sarcophagid (flesh fly), which isn’t far from the truth because the family Ropalomeridae sits within the Infraorder Muscomorpha and the Superfamily Sciomyzoidea. The family is nearly entirely neotropical, with 1 of the 26 known species occuring in the Nearctic.

I can’t find very much information on their ecology – except that their larvae have been found in rotting substrates and the adults are attracted to molasses and rotting fruit. I can back up the latter observation because I have seen them feeding on rotting banana bait traps.

After a bit of Googling and downloading papers I think mine is a female of the genus Willistoniella (the commonest genus) – based on the shape of the face; one pair of marginal scutellars; and the only slightly curved and laterally compressed hind femur. Unfortunately I don’t think I can go much further with the ID because the key relies on seeing parts of the female genitalia that seem to have been retracted on my specimen.

Marques A. P. (2005) Revisao do genero Willistoniella Mik 1895 (Diptera, Ropalomeridae) da regiao Neotropical.

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