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Comprehensive Description

provided by Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology
Notiphila (Notiphila) pulchra

Notiphila (Notiphila) riparia.—North American authors [not Meigen, 1830:65].

DIAGNOSIS.—Specimens of this species are not likely to be confused with any others except possibly for those of N. phaeopsis. Notiphila pulchra specimens are distinguished from those of N. phaeopsis and of all other species by the following combination of characters: Antennal segments entirely pale or at most first segment darkened; arista bearing up to 15 dorsal aristal branches; facial series of setae well developed, bristlelike; mesonotum without a median stripe but with a small spot just anterior of presutural bristle; mesopleuron also bearing darker maculation area; characteristic setal comb along posteroventral margin of middle femur very weakly developed and lacking distinctive row of setae on middle tibiae; specimens are generally grayer in background coloration than those of N. phaeopsis; male genitalia also very diagnostic (Figures 49–50).

DESCRIPTION.—Medium-sized to moderately large shore flies, length 3.65 to 4.82 mm; with dark gray to brownish gray background coloration and dark brown markings.

Head: Head ratio 1:0.70; postfrons ratio 1:0.61; frons mostly gray but median triangular area lighter, brown, lateral margins sometimes concolorous with median triangular area but often dark, like remainder of the frons. Paravertical bristle very large, in some specimens equaling ocellars in size; 1 pair of proclinate, fronto-orbital setae usually present but never strongly developed. Antennal segments mostly pale, yellowish orange, occasionally the basal segment is darkened; arista with 10–15 dorsal branches. Face gray and often with median, brown stripe on lower two-thirds, facial setae strongly developed, numbering 3–4, restricted to lower half of face; prefrons ratio 1:0.73. Eye ratio 1:0.73; eye-to-cheek ratio 1:0.16. Gena narrow, generally concolorous with face; genal bristle strong, almost equal to paravertical bristles. Maxillary palpus pale, yellowish orange to yellow.

Thorax: Mesonotum mostly gray to brownish gray and immaculate except for a small, darker spot just anterior to presutural bristle. Disc of scutellum usually slightly lighter in color. Mesopleuron often with darker maculation area. Femora and tibiae dark, usually black, both pale apically; tarsi mostly pale; setal comb along posteroventral margin of middle femur weakly developed or absent; no evidence of a distinct row of setae along the middle tibia. Setal fascicle of hind basitarsus black. Wing ratio 1:0.48; costal vein ratio 1:0.51; M1+2 vein ratio 1:0.57.

Abdomen: Abdomen ratio of males 1:0.72; length of fourth tergum to fifth tergum ratio of males 1:0.74; fifth tergum ratio of males 1:0.49. Abdomen generally dark gray but with darker brown-gray, guttate markings of large size. Male terminalia as in Figures 49–50.

TYPE-MATERIAL.—Holotype male: “Goose Lake Hamilton Co. Iowa VIII–14–1960/D. L. Deonier/HOLOTYPE Notiphila pulchra Mathis (red).” Allotype female and six paratypes (5 , 1 ): with same locality data as the holotype (ISU, USNM, WNM). The holotype will be deposited with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., type number 73551.

OTHER SPECIMENS EXAMINED (69).—CANADA: ONTARIO: Dundas Marsh (CNC); Marmora (CNC). UNITED STATES: FLORIDA: Royal Palm Park (USNM); Alachua Co., Gainesville (CNC, FSCA); DeSoto Co., Brownville (USNM); Franklin Co., Beach, 3.2 km W Apalachicola (UMI); Highlands Co., Archbold Biological Station (PSU); Polk Co., Lakeland (ANSP). GEORGIA: Okefenokee Swamp, Billy's Island (CU); Okefenokee Swamp, Honey Island (CU); Okefenokee Swamp (CU); Glynn Co., Thalman (CU). ILLINOIS: Johnson Co., Goreville (MSU). KANSAS: Stafford Co. (ANSP). LOUISIANA: East Baton Rouge Parish, Baton Rouge (USNM). MASSACHUSETTS: Middlesex Co., Concord (USNM); Nantucket Co., Nantucket (ANSP). MICHIGAN: Bay Co. (USNM); Monroe Co., Monroe (ANSP, USNM). MISSOURI: Saint Louis Co., Webster Groves (USNM). NEW JERSEY: Essex Co., Newark (ANSP). NEW YORK: Cayuga Co., Auburn (USNM); Niagra Co., Olcott (USNM); Queens Co., Flushing (AMNH); Tompkins Co., Ithaca (ANSP, CU). OHIO: Carroll Co., Specht (KSU); Erie Co., Sandusky-Cedar Point (ANSP, OHSU); Hamilton Co., Cincinntti (OHSU); Portage Co., Kent (OHSU), 4.8 km E Kent (FSU), Mogodore Reserve (KSU); Wayne Co., 0.8 km S Rittman (KSU, USNM). TENNESSEE: Knox Co., Knoxville University Farm (CNC). TEXAS: Val Verde Co., Del Rio-Devil's River (CNC).

ETYMOLOGY.—The epithet pulchra is derived from the Latin adjective pulcher (“noble,” “fine,” or “fair”) referring to the handsome appearance of this fly.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION (Figure 51).—Notiphila pulchra occurs throughout most of eastern North America. It extends northward into Ontario, Canada, and southward into Florida. Collection dates are from 25 March to 8 October.
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bibliographic citation
Mathis, Wayne Neilsen. 1979. "Studies of Notiphilinae (Diptera: Ephydridae), I: Revision of the Neartic Species of Notiphila Fallen, Excluding the Caudata Group." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1-111. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.287