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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0373-5680versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471

Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. v.63 n.1-2 Mendoza ene./jul. 2004


Microcerella (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) from Argentinean Patagonia: New records and new species

Microcerella (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) para la Patagonia Argentina: Nuevos registros y nueva especie

Mariluis, Juan C.

ANLIS “Dr. C. Malbrán”, Servicio de Vectores. Av. Vélez Sarsfield 563. 1281 Buenos Aires, Argentina; e-mail:

ABSTRACT. Male of Microcerella lalie sp. nov. from Santa Cruz, Argentina is described and illustrated and new records from Austral Argentinean Patagonia are provided for Microcerella mallochi (Hall).

KEY WORDS. Diptera. Sarcophagidae. Microcerella. New species. Argentinean Patagonia.

RESUMEN. Se describe e ilustra una nueva especie de Sarcophagidae, Microcerella lalie sp. nov. de Santa Cruz, Argentina y se aporta un nuevo registro para la Patagonia Austral Argentina, de Microcerella mallochi (Hall).

PALABRAS CLAVE. Diptera. Sarcophagidae. Microcerella. Especie Nueva. Patagonia argentina.


Microcerella Macquart, 1851 is the most diverse species in the Neotropical Region specially at high altitudes and in southern temperate zones (Lopes 1969, 1982, Pape 1990). The species were found on Mollusca, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, and meat demonstrating their saprophitic habits and their preference for dead invertebrates in nature (Lopes 1982). Twenty one species of Microcerella are presently known in Patagonia (Pape 1996, Mariluis 2002 a, b). During several trips made by the author to Argentinean Patagonia in 1997 and 1998 specimens of Microcerella were captured. The study of the material revealed the existence of a new species of Microcerella and that Microcerella mallochi (Hall) is present in several new localities.


The description follows the terminology of  McAlpine (1981) and the phallic (or aedeagal) structures the considerations of Lopes (1956) and Pape (1994). Illustration were made by using a camera lucida attached to a stereoscopic microscope.

The holotype and paratypes of the new species are pinned. The holotype and some of the paratypes are deposited in the collection of the Museo de La Plata (MLP), Argentina. Other paratypes are deposited in the collections of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” (MACN), Buenos Aires, Argentina, ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán” Servicio de Vectores (ANLIS, SV), and Fundación e Instituto Miguel Lillo (FIML), Tucumán, Argentina.


Microcerella mallochi (Hall, 1937)

(Figs. 1-2)

Figs. 1 – 2. Microcerella mallochi, male; 1: syntergosternite 7+8, epandrium right lateral view; 2: arista.
Figs. 3 – 7. Microcerella lalie sp. nov, male; 3: syntergosternite 7+8, epandrium, cercus, surstylus, paramere, gonopod right lateral view; 4: arista; 5: cerci rear view; 6: aedeagus right lateral view; 7: sternite 5 ventral view. Bar = 0.5 mm.

Mimophytomyia mallochi Hall, 1937: 350, 359 (key; male, female fig. 66a-e; Argentina: Río Negro, Bariloche, Chile: Valparaiso, Perales).

Alaccoprosopa mallochi: Lopes, 1969: 9 (in catalog, combination).

Mallochisca mallochi: Lopes, 1982: 362, 364, 365 (key; combination; male, female figs. 36–39; Chile: Aconcagua, Concepción, Curicó, Linares, Magallanes, O'Higgins and Santiago).

Microcerella mallochi: Pape, 1990: 49 (combination); Pape 1996: 256 (in catalog).

Distribution. Argentina (Río Negro and Santa Cruz provinces), Chile (Aconcagua, Valparaiso, Santiago, O'Higgins, Curicó, Maule, Linares, Concepción, Araucanía, and Magallanes).

New records. Argentina. Santa Cruz: Glacier Perito Moreno and Río Mitre.

Material examined. Argentina, Santa Cruz: Glacier Perito Moreno, XI-1994, J.C. Mariluis, 1 male (ANLIS, SV); Río Mitre, XII-1994, J.C. Mariluis, 3 males (ANLIS, SV).

Microcerella lalie sp. nov.

(Figs. 3-7)

Holotype male. Length: 7 – 10 mm. Head black, microtomentum silvery; eyes red when the specimens are placed in wet environment; fronto orbital and parafacial plates with silvery microtomentum bearing short black setulae along eye margin, the latter with a single row of setae and some elongated setulae near eye; frontal vitta black, with silvery microtomentum and a few short black setulae on external border; frons at its narrowest portion about 0.24 of head width; 8 – 10 frontal setae, the row of frontals diverging strongly anteriorly at the level of pedicel; orbital setae absent; inner and outer vertical setae present; ocellar triangle black, with one pair of strong ocellar setae; postocular setae black, in one row; genal groove, genal dilation, and postgena black with silvery microtomentum and black setae, gena with black setae; face and facial ridge black with silvery microtomentum, facial ridge with setae and setulae on lower half; antenna black, first flagellomere twice as long as pedicel, arista plumose on basal half with setulae at most 1/3 x as long as the largest diameter of arista (Fig. 4); palpus black. Thorax black, with silvery microtomentum; proepisternum with setulae on  anterior portion, otherwise bare. Chaetotaxy: acrostichals 2 (fore and median) + 0, dorsocentrals 3+3 (spaced for 3), intra-alars 1+2, supra-alars 2+3, postpronotals 3, postalars 2, notopleurals 4, katepisternals 3 the median one a little smaller and inserted slightly below others. Scutellum with 2 developed laterals, discals 1, apicals 1 (hair-like). Wing hyaline, orange basicosta and veins, R1 bare, R4+5 setulose in proximal 1/3 or 0/5 of distance to r-m, costal spine not differentiated, third costal sector without ventral setae, calypteres pale yellow to orange. Legs black; middle femur with posteroventral ctenidium on its apical portion; middle tibia with 2 anterodorsal setae, 1 posterodorsal seta, 2-3 posterior setae, and 1 ventral seta; hind femur with rows of anterodorsal, anterior, and anteroventral setae; hind tibia with 2 posterodorsal setae and row of anterodorsal setae. Abdomen black; T 1+2 without dorsal microtomentum but with one pair of lateral spots of silvery microtomentum; T 3 – 5 with one pair of dorsal spots of silvery microtomentum, one pair of lateral spots of golden microtomentum, and one pair of ventral spots of silvery microtomentum; ST 2 – 4 with silvery microtomentum; T 1+2 - 3 without median marginal setae; T 4 with moderately sized setae; T 5 with a complete row of marginal setae; ST 1 – 4 exposed with long black hair-like setae; ST 5 V- shaped (Fig. 7). Terminalia syntergosternite 7 + 8 black shine with silvery microtomentum, black setulae, and four pairs of marginal setae; epandrium orange reddish with scattered long black hair-like setae, posterior area spherical on lateral view (Fig. 3); cercus moderately curved forward with pointed apex in profile (Fig. 3); surstylus short and curved, setose in apical half (Fig. 3); gonopod with black shine and few setulae (Fig. 3); paramere curved with a strong bristle on anterior margin (Fig. 3); vesica ball-shaped, fat in lateral view (Fig. 6); lateral plate with two pairs of conspicuously pointed apophyses, not crossed in lateral view (Fig. 6); juxta strongly curved and hook-shaped distally in lateral view, without lobe on distal part in posterior view (Fig. 6).

Female. Unknown.

Distribution. Argentina, Santa Cruz.

Type material. Holotype male (MLP) and 5 males paratypes (ANLIS, SV; FIML; MACN; MLP) Argentina, Santa Cruz: Puerto Santa Cruz, II-1998, J. C. Mariluis; 2 males paratype (ANLIS, SV) same locality but XII-1997, J.C. Mariluis; 1 male paratype (ANLIS, SV) Argentina, Santa Cruz: Piedrabuena, I-1976, J. Daciuk; 3 males paratypes (ANLIS, SV; FIML; MACN) from Argentina, Santa Cruz: Río Gallegos, I-1998, J.C. Mariluis; 2 males paratype (ANLIS, SV; MLP) same locality but II-1998, J. C. Mariluis; 2 males paratypes (ANLIS, SV) same locality but XII-1997, J.C. Mariluis.

Etymology. “lalie” is the nickname of Carmen Amelia Castro Casal who kindly helped the author to collect the specimens.


Microcerella lalie sp. nov. is similar to M. mallochi (Hall). However, the male of M. mallochi differs from the male of M. lalie by the green pale eyes, color  obtained when the specimens were placed in wet environments (Lopes 1954); frontal vitta with black microtomentum; 10–12 frontal setae; outer vertical setae not distinguished from the postocular setae; genal groove black without silvery microtomentum; setulae  of the arista as long as or longer than the largest diameter of the arista (Fig. 2); acrostichals 1 (median) + 0; basicosta white; veins brown; calypteres white, the lower one with brown spot on the disk; T 3 - 5 with three pairs of spots of silvery microtomentum; syntergosternite 7 + 8 brown shine without silvery microtomentum; posterior area of epandrium in lateral view subovoidal (Fig. 1); gonopod with orange shine and with numerous setulae;  vesica slender in lateral view; lateral plate has five pairs of conspicuously pointed apophyses, the last pairs is crossed in lateral view; juxta weakly waved distally in lateral view, with two lobes in distal part in posterior view.

The specimens studied as M. mallochi (Hall) are coincident with the original description and with the redescription of M. mallochi by Lopes (1982).


To Raquel M. Terragno INEI, ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán”, to Thomas Pape, Department of Entomology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden, for the critical reading of the manuscript, and Mirta A. Carlomagno CNRL, ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán” for the suggestions to the text. To Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) for the financial support of this research and anonymous reviewers for improving the quality of the manuscript.


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Recibido: 15-XI-2003
Aceptado: 8-III-2004

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