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Distribution of Rhinophoridae
#1 Print Post
Posted on 17-04-2009 15:37
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Location: California
Posts: 109
Joined: 11.02.07

Hello everyone,

I need some help in understanding the nomenclatural origin of Rhinophoridae as well as its diagnosis and ditribution.

I'm particularly interested in the limits of biogeographic distribution and host specifictiy (if it is..) of this family

Thank you.
tempus fugit
Tony Irwin
#2 Print Post
Posted on 17-04-2009 21:55
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 6991
Joined: 19.11.04

The family is named after the genus Rhinophora, erected by Robineau-Desvoidy in 1830 for Meigen's species Tachina lepida. I think Rhinophora literally means "nose-bearer" - and the species does have a slightly protruding mouth-edge - but I don't have R-D's original description to hand, so cannot say whether this is why it was so-named. Often the early Dipterists didn't bother to say why they had chosen a particular name - you had to work out why for yourself!

The family distribution is Nearctic, Palaearctic (particularly rich in Southern Europe), African, with fewer species in the Oriental and Neotropical regions. At one time they were thought to be absent from the Australasian region, but Colless's family Axiniidae is now thought to be a subfamily of Rhinophoridae, so they are there after all!

In Europe, I believe that all the species that were known to breed in anything other than woodlice (Isopoda) have been moved into the Tachinidae or Calliphoridae. I don't think any other hosts are recorded.

The best diagnostic account that I know of is that by Thomas Pape, in the Manual of Palaearctic Diptera.
Edited by Tony Irwin on 17-04-2009 22:02
Tony Irwin
#3 Print Post
Posted on 18-04-2009 06:56
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Location: California
Posts: 109
Joined: 11.02.07

Thanks a lot Tony!

It's a great help. I doing a small project on flies associated in dead golden apple snails in four different habitats. I've encountered several tachinid-like flies which I suspect to be rhinophorids but doubtful of its presence and distribution here in the Philippines.

Would you mind if I send some pictures to you for verifying the family? Or do you know anyone in the forum that may help?

Again, thank you.
tempus fugit
Tony Irwin
#4 Print Post
Posted on 18-04-2009 11:10
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 6991
Joined: 19.11.04

Please do send pictures - I'll do what I can, though my knowledge of Philippine flies is very limited! - with the pics, I should be able to suggest which family, so we can then suggest someone to contact.
I think Rhinpohoridae are known from the Philippines, but unlikely to be associated with snails - more likely Calliphoridae.

Tony Irwin
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