Exceptional species diversity of Drosophilidae (Diptera) in a neotropical forest (American Museum novitates, no. 3997)

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American Museum of Natural History.
The highest single-site species diversity known thus far in the world for Drosophilidae is in Costa Rica, based on findings in this report. A total of 352 species of Drosophilidae (Diptera) were found in a cloud forest (1580 m) in Zurquí de Moravia, San José Province (hereafter “Zurquí”), based on 2908 specimens collected continuously for one year, using eight trapping and collecting methods. There are currently 305 described species from Costa Rica. Zurquí is at the edge of a large, protected area and was the site of an All-Diptera inventory project. For this study, drosophilid specimens were identified to genus/subgenus, sorted to morphospecies, and their abundances plotted by collection method: Malaise traps, flight intercept traps, baited traps, light and yellow pan traps, emergence traps, and hand collecting with nets. The standard method used by drosophilists, bait trapping, captured a small fraction of species. Malaise traps captured 87% of all species, and 41% of the 352 species were captured only this way. Emergence traps captured a surprising diversity (47 species) of Diathoneura and Drosophila, establishing that leaf litter/humus is an important breeding site for some taxa. Combining all collection methods, 11 species were abundant, as defined by 50 or more specimens, and comprised 35% of all specimens in the study; two-thirds (66%) of all species were rare, as defined by five or fewer specimens. Comparisons are made to other well-collected sites and regions around the world. Lowland to mid-montane forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes may be the most diverse area for Drosophilidae, a family that is exemplary for studying the ecology and evolution of tropical diversity.
28 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 26 cm.
Drosophilidae -- Tropics -- Classification., Zoological specimens -- Tropics., Flies -- Classification.