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      New Syrphidae (Diptera) of North-eastern North America

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      Biodiversity Data Journal

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          This paper describes 11 of 18 new species recognised in the recent book, "Field Guide to the Flower Flies of Northeastern North America". Four species are omitted as they need to be described in the context of a revision (three Cheilosia and a Palpada species) and three other species (one Neoascia and two Xylota) will be described by F. Christian Thompson in a planned publication. Six of the new species have been recognised for decades and were treated by J. Richard Vockeroth in unpublished notes or by Thompson in his unpublished but widely distributed "A conspectus of the flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) of the Nearctic Region". Five of the 11 species were discovered during the preparation of the Field Guide. Eight of the 11 have DNA barcodes available that support the morphology.

          New species treated in this paper include: Anasimyia diffusa Locke, Skevington and Vockeroth (Smooth-legged Swamp Fly), Anasimyia matutina Locke, Skevington and Vockeroth (Small-spotted Swamp Fly), Brachyopa caesariata Moran and Skevington (Plain-winged Sapeater), Brachyopa cummingi Moran and Skevington (Somber Sapeater), Hammerschmidtia sedmani Vockeroth, Moran and Skevington (Pale-bristled Logsitter), Microdon (Microdon) scauros Skevington and Locke (Big-footed Ant Fly), Mixogaster fattigi Locke, Skevington and Greene (Fattig's Ant Fly), Neoascia guttata Skevington and Moran (Spotted Fen Fly), Orthonevra feei Moran and Skevington (Fee's Mucksucker), Psilota klymkoi Locke, Young and Skevington (Black Haireye) and Trichopsomyia litoralis Vockeroth and Young (Coastal Psyllid-killer). Common names follow the "Field Guide to the Flower Flies of Northeastern North America" (Skevington et al. 2019).

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          Most cited references 12

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          Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

          Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.
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            Critical factors for assembling a high volume of DNA barcodes.

            Large-scale DNA barcoding projects are now moving toward activation while the creation of a comprehensive barcode library for eukaryotes will ultimately require the acquisition of some 100 million barcodes. To satisfy this need, analytical facilities must adopt protocols that can support the rapid, cost-effective assembly of barcodes. In this paper we discuss the prospects for establishing high volume DNA barcoding facilities by evaluating key steps in the analytical chain from specimens to barcodes. Alliances with members of the taxonomic community represent the most effective strategy for provisioning the analytical chain with specimens. The optimal protocols for DNA extraction and subsequent PCR amplification of the barcode region depend strongly on their condition, but production targets of 100K barcode records per year are now feasible for facilities working with compliant specimens. The analysis of museum collections is currently challenging, but PCR cocktails that combine polymerases with repair enzyme(s) promise future success. Barcode analysis is already a cost-effective option for species identification in some situations and this will increasingly be the case as reference libraries are assembled and analytical protocols are simplified.
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              A comparative analysis of the evolution of imperfect mimicry.

              Although exceptional examples of adaptation are frequently celebrated, some outcomes of natural selection seem far from perfect. For example, many hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) are harmless (Batesian) mimics of stinging Hymenoptera. However, although some hoverfly species are considered excellent mimics, other species bear only a superficial resemblance to their models and it is unclear why this is so. To evaluate hypotheses that have been put forward to explain interspecific variation in the mimetic fidelity of Palearctic Syrphidae we use a comparative approach. We show that the most plausible explanation is that predators impose less selection for mimetic fidelity on smaller hoverfly species because they are less profitable prey items. In particular, our findings, in combination with previous results, allow us to reject several key hypotheses for imperfect mimicry: first, human ratings of mimetic fidelity are positively correlated with both morphometric measures and avian rankings, indicating that variation in mimetic fidelity is not simply an illusion based on human perception; second, no species of syrphid maps out in multidimensional space as being intermediate in appearance between several different hymenopteran model species, as the multimodel hypothesis requires; and third, we find no evidence for a negative relationship between mimetic fidelity and abundance, which calls into question the kin-selection hypothesis. By contrast, a strong positive relationship between mimetic fidelity and body size supports the relaxed-selection hypothesis, suggesting that reduced predation pressure on less profitable prey species limits the selection for mimetic perfection.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                BDJ
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2828
                1314-2836
                September 03 2019
                September 03 2019
                : 7
                Article
                10.3897/BDJ.7.e36673
                © 2019

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