Thirty New Species of Flies Discovered in Los Angeles

Posted on March 25, 2015

Some new phoridea flies discovered in Los Angeles

Thirty new species of flies have been discovered in Los Angeles. Some of the new species are pictured above. The flies all belong to the genus Megaselia, of the fly family Phoridae. The flies pictured above are Megaselia mikejohnsoni, M. creasoni, M. francoae, M. donahuei, M. lombardorum and M. rodriguezorum.

The fly discoveries were made by researchers in the BioSCAN project (Biodiversity Science: City and Nature) at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM). It follows a three year study of insect biodiversity in and around urban L.A. Local residents participated in the study and hosted 30 different sample sites.

Entomologists at NHM examined over 10,000 species of phorid flies out of three months worth of samples to find the 30 species that are new to science. The study was led by Dr. Brian Brown, curator of Entomology at NHM and principal investigator of BioSCAN.

Brown says, "I always thought we had the potential to discover new species wherever we sample -- urban, tropical, anywhere. But 30 new species from a heavily urbanized area is really astounding."

You can find out more about the BioScan project here. This video from The Next Gen Scientist also explains BioSCAN and the newly discovered flies. Take a look:



Photo: Phyllis Sun