Fly of Atacama Desert
Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 4:16 PM
Your letter to the bugman (please provide as much narrative and information as possible)
I found this fly in a garden of the coastal city of Antofagsta, Atacama Desert, Chile. Sitting on a leaf of a palm tree.
The size was 5mm approx.
Very interesting the pattern on the wings and the color.
Thanks for your help.
North of Chile, desert, coast
Dear desert fly,
We are uncertain of the exact identiy of your beautiful Chilean desert Fly, but we will post the image in the hopes one of our readers will be able to identify its family or species before we can.
Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 9:19 PM
This is a fruit fly (family Tephritidae) in the genus Trupanea. There are about 70 species in the neotropics, including at least four in Chile (T. bullocki, T. nigriseta, T. nymphula and T. simpatrica). Most look quite similar and apparently all the neotropical species feed on Asteraceae hosts(asters, daisies and sunflowers) as larvae. There are also 21 nearctic species according to the Bugguide, most in the USA. The Bugguide site has some good images that look very similar to the Chilean fly. Regards.