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Biodivers Data J. 2018 Jan 24;(6):e22396. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.6.e22396. eCollection 2018.

A second contender for "world's smallest fly" (Diptera: Phoridae).

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Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, United States of America.



Flies of the family Phoridae (Insecta: Diptera) are amongst the most diverse insects in the world, with an incredible array of species, structures and life histories. Wiithin their structural diversity is the world's smallest fly, Euryplatea nanaknihali Brown, 2012.

New information:

A second minute, limuloid female phorid parasitoid fly (Diptera: Phoridae) is described. Known from a single specimen from a site near Manaus, Brazil, Megapropodiphora arnoldigen. n., sp. n. is only 0.395 mm in body length, slightly smaller than the currently recognised smallest fly, Euryplatea nanaknihali from Thailand. The distinctive body shape of M. arnoldi, particularly the relatively enormous head, mesothorax and scutellum, the latter of which covers most of the abdomen, easily separates it from other described phorids. Most remarkably, the forelegs are extremely enlarged, whereas mid- and hind legs are reduced to small, possibly vestigial remnants. A possible male specimen, unfortunately destroyed during processing, is briefly described.


biodiversity; parasitoid; taxonomy; tropical

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