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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2012-10-03 20:09:32

Judy Webb
Committee
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 411

The longest-tongued fly pollinator?

I'm researching pollination by flies and came across this fascinating paper about nectar guides and pollination of an endemic South African iris by an undescribed Nemestrinid fly which has a 40mm long proboscis, which is stiff and non-retractable. One wonders just how the fly can actually manoeuvre when encumbered by such a tongue! Click here to see the article.
Judy

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#2 2012-10-04 12:58:22

Michael Ackland
DF Members
Name: Michael Ackland
Registered: 2008-06-14
Posts: 180

Re: The longest-tongued fly pollinator?

There is one anthomyiid fly which has an exceptionally long proboscis, Leucophora siphonina (Bigot).  It occurs in North America and Mexico. There is a good photo in Griffiths 1996, Flies of the Nearctic Region, Anthomyiidae, page 1706.  This journal is in the Hope Library.  The Bigot type is also in the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Griffiths makes no comment on the life history of this species, or gives any references to any data on the feeding habits of the fly, or any collecting data from flowers.

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