New Species of Parasitic Spider Flies Discovered in Australia
Four new species of spider flies of the genus Panops have been discovered in Australia. The flies are described in a study published in ZooKeys: doi: 10.3897/zookeys.172.1889. Adult spider flies are considered important pollinators of flowers. It is the larvae that acts as a spider parasite. The larvae live as internal parasitoids of juvenile spiders.
The newly discovered flies have large round bodies covered with dense hairs and black or metallic green to blue coloration, giving a jewel-like appearance. The larvae of these flies specialize in parasitizing mygalomorph spiders such as the trap door and Sydney funnel web spiders. Panops austrae is pictured above and Panops jade is pictured below.
Read more: Sciencenewsblog
(Photos by Shaun Winterton)