Entomologists have described a new species in the window fly genus Scenopinus from Finland.
Window flies are members of Scenopinidae, a small family of primitive flies belonging to the superfamily Asiloidea.
They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with more than 420 described species in 25 genera.
The greatest diversity is in the arid regions of the world, which is also reflected by the fact that the majority of the European species are present in the Mediterranean countries and Macaronesian islands.
Only four previously-known species extend their range to central and northern Europe.
“The Nordic species are associated with dry habitats, such as animal nests, where their larvae prey on other insects,” said Dr. Jaakko Pohjoismäki from the University of Eastern Finland and Dr. Antti Haarto from the University of Turku.
“The common window fly can be considered beneficial as their larvae predate on indoor pests.”
The newly-described species, named Scenopinus jerei, is a boreal forest specialist living in the nests of cavity-nesting birds.
It measures between 4 and 5 mm in length and has characteristic bicolored legs and completely black halteres.
It is not very active flier, does not visit flowers and therefore is rarely collected by active netting or traps.
Judging from the few Finnish observations, Scenopinus jerei appears widespread in the southern and central parts of the country.
The researchers are certain that the species can also be found in boreal forest biotopes in the other Nordic countries.
“The fact that a species previously unknown to science can be discovered from a relatively species-poor and well-studied Nordic country underscores the fact how poorly the local biodiversity remains to be known,” they said.
Originally Published by SciNews