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New sand fly species discovered in Brazil

Here is the female paratype of Psathyromyia baratai: (A) Head. (B) Labrum-epipharynx. (C) Apical region of hypopharynx. (D) Apical region of lacinia of the maxilla. (E) Cibarium. Credit: Entomological Society of America

In an attempt to better understand the taxonomy of a group of sand flies, researchers in Brazil examined specimens in museum collections. After detailed morphometric and morphological analyses of three different flies in the genus Psathyromyia, they found that the specimens were originally misidentified and that they were actually an undescribed species.

The new species, Psathyromyia baratai, is described in the Journal of Medical Entomology. The species name pays homage to Professor Jos Maria Soares Barata of the Public Health School of the University of So Paulo for his important contribution to medical entomology, mainly through his teaching and research into the Triatominae.

The state of So Paulo has presented the greatest number of records of this species. Its first recorded capture in the So Paulo municipality, in the Santo Amaro neighborhood, occurred in 1939, when it was misidentified as Psathyromyia limai.

The researchers provide a full description of the new species and an identification key in their article, «Description of Psathyromyia (Psathyromyia) baratai sp. n. (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) From Cantareira State Park, So Paulo, Brazil.»

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