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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342432

Research Project: Systematics of Flies of Importance in Agroecosystems and the Environment

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Remarkable fly (Diptera) diversity in a patch of Costa Rican cloud forest: Why inventory is a vital science

item BORKENT, ART - University Of British Columbia
item BROWN, BRIAN - Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County
item ADLER, PETER - Clemson University
item DESOUZA AMORIM, DALTON - Universidade Nacional De Sao Paulo
item BARBER, KEVIN - Canadian Forest Service
item BICKEL, DANIEL - Australian Museum
item BOUCHER, STEPHANIE - McGill University - Canada
item BROOKS, SCOTT - Agriculture And Agri-Food Canada
item BURGER, JOHN - University Of New Hampshire
item CAPELLARI, RENATO - Wright State University
item COSTA, DANIEL - University Of Brazil
item CUMMING, JEFFREY - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item CURLER, GREG - Mississippi State University
item DICK, CARL - Western Kentucky University
item EPLER, J. - Non ARS Employee
item FISHER, ERIC - Non ARS Employee
item GAIMARI, STEPHEN - California State University
item GELHAUS, JON - Drexel University
item GRIMALDI, DAVID - American Museum Of Natural History
item HASH, JOHN - University Of California
item HIPPA, HEIKKI - University Of Turku
item IBÁÑEZ-BERNAL, SERGIO - University Of Veracruz
item JASCHHOF, MATHIAS - Non ARS Employee
item KAMENEVA, ELENA - National Academy Of Sciences Of Ukraine
item KVIFTE, GUNNAR - University Of Bergen
item LONSDALE, OWEN - University Of Ottawa
item MARSHALL, STEPHEN - University Of Guelph
item MATHIS, WAYNE - Smithsonian Institute
item MICHELSEN, VERNER - Copenhagen University
item NAGLIS, STEFAN - University Of Zurich
item Norrbom, Allen
item PAPE, THOMAS - Natural History Museum Of Denmark
item PEREIRA-COLAVITE, ALESSANDRE - Universidade Federal Da Paraiba (UFPB)
item POLLET, MARC - Research Institute For Nature And Forest (INBO)
item RUNYON, JUSTIN - University Of Montana
item SAVAGE, JADE - Universite De Sherbrooke
item SILVA, VERA - Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
item SINCLAIR, BRADLEY - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
item SWANN, JOHN - University Of Calgary
item VILKAMAA, PEKKA - Finnish Museum Of Natural History
item WHITWORTH, TERRY - Washington State University
item WOODLEY, NORMAN - Retired ARS Employee
item ZAVORTINK, THOMAS - University Of California
item ZUMBADO, MANUEL - University Of Santo Domingo

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2018
Publication Date: 3/27/2018
Citation: Borkent, A., Brown, B.V., Adler, P.H., Desouza Amorim, D., Barber, K., Bickel, D., Boucher, S., Brooks, S.E., Burger, J., Capellari, R.S., Costa, D.N., Cumming, J.M., Curler, G., Dick, C.W., Epler, J.H., Fisher, E., Gaimari, S.D., Gelhaus, J., Grimaldi, D.A., Hash, J., Hippa, H., Ibáñez-Bernal, S., Jaschhof, M., Kameneva, E.P., Kvifte, G.M., Lonsdale, O., Marshall, S.A., Mathis, W., Michelsen, V., Naglis, S., Norrbom, A.L., Pape, T., Pereira-Colavite, A., Pollet, M., Runyon, J.B., Savage, J., Silva, V.C., Sinclair, B.J., Swann, J., Vilkamaa, P., Whitworth, T., Woodley, N., Zavortink, T.J., Zumbado, M.A. 2018. Remarkable fly (Diptera) diversity in a patch of Costa Rican cloud forest: Why inventory is a vital science. Zootaxa. 4402:53-90.

Interpretive Summary: Flies are one of the megadiverse orders of insects and one of the major components of world biodiversity. They include agricultural pests, disease vectors, pollinators, predators and parasitoids, and detritivores critical for nutrient recycling. This study inventoried fly diversity from a single small site in Costa Rica for a 1-year period, where almost 3500 species were collected, indicating that fly diversity in the tropics is even greater than previously estimated. This information will be useful to biologists, conservationists, and other scientists interested in biodiversity

Technical Abstract: All flies (Diptera) collected for one year from a four-hectare (150 X 266 meter) patch of cloud forest at 1600 meters above sea level at Zurquí de Moravia, San José Province, Costa Rica (hereafter referred to as Zurquí), revealed an astounding 4,348 species. These amount to more than half the number of named species of flies for all of Central America. Specimens were collected with two Malaise traps running continuously and with a wide array of supplementary collecting methods for three days of each month. All morphospecies from all 73 families recorded were fully curated by technicians before submission to an international team of 59 taxonomic experts for identification. Overall, a Malaise trap on the forest edge captured 1,988 species or 50% of all dipteran taxa (other than of Phoridae, subsampled only from two Malaise traps). A Malaise trap in the forest sampled 906 species. Of other sampling methods, the combination of four Malaise traps and intercept trap, aerial/hand collecting, 10 emergence traps, and four CDC light traps added the greatest numbers to our inventory. This complement of sampling methods was an effective combination for retrieving substantial numbers of species of Diptera. Comparison of select sampling methods (considering 3,487 species) provided further details regarding how many species were sampled by various methods. Comparison of a single Malaise trap catch from Zurquí with a single Malaise trap catch at each of Tapantí and Las Alturas, 40 and 180 km distant respectively, suggested greatest similarity between Zurquí and Tapantí and significant species turnover. Comparison of the greater number of species collected in all traps from Zurquí did not markedly change the degree of similarity between the three sites, although the actual number of species shared did increase. Comparisons of the total number of named and unnamed species of Diptera from four 6 hectares at Zurquí is equivalent to 51% of all flies named from Central America, greater than all the named fly fauna of Colombia, equivalent to 13% of named Neotropical species and equal to about 2.7% of all named Diptera worldwide. Clearly the number of species of Diptera in tropical regions has been severely underestimated and the actual number may surpass the number of species of Coleoptera. Various published extrapolations from limited data to estimate total numbers of species of larger taxonomic categories (e.g., Hexapoda, Arthropods, Eukaryotes, etc.) are highly questionable, and certainly will remain uncertain until we have more exhaustive surveys of all and diverse taxa (like Diptera) from multiple tropical sites. Morphological characterization of species in inventories provides identifications placed in the context of taxonomy, phylogeny, form, and ecology. DNA barcoding species is a valuable tool to estimate species numbers but used alone fails to provide a broader context for the species identified.