Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Schildia Aldrich, 1923 (Diptera: Asilidae: Leptogastrinae) with Descriptions of New Extant and Fossil Species
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Schildia Aldrich, 1923, a distinctive and rare genus of Leptogastrinae (Diptera: Asilidae), is revised. Twelve species are recognized, of which five are new to science. The nine extant species are Neotropical, Afrotropical, and Oriental in distribution. The extant Neotropical species are S. alphus Martin, 1975; S. caliginosa sp. n., described from southern Venezuela; S. fragilis (Carerra, 1944); S. guatemalae Martin, 1975; S. gracillima (Walker, 1855); S. jamaicensis Farr, 1963; S. microthorax Aldrich, 1923; and S. zonae Martin, 1975. S. ocellata Martin, 1975 is synonymized with S. gracillima. The extant Afrotropical species is S. adina sp. n., described from extant and copal (0-11000 years ago) specimens from Madagascar. The extant Oriental species is S. malaya sp. n., described from Kedah, Malaysia. Two extinct species, S. angustifrons and S. martini, are newly described from Dominican amber (15-20 million years ago). Redescriptions and descriptions of the genus and all extant and fossil species are provided. An identification key to the extant and fossil species is presented. Illustrations, photographs, and scanning electron micrographs are provided to support the descriptions and key. Distribution, biogeography, occurrence in biodiversity hotspots, seasonal incidence, and biology are discussed. The geographic distributions of several species are expanded. Potential reasons are explored to explain why Schildia, previously thought to be strictly Neotropical, is also found in Madagascar and Malaysia. Tentative minimum age of the genus is discussed in light of new fossil and biogeographical data.
Schildia; Leptogastrinae; Asilidae; Neotropical Region; Afrotropical Region; Oriental Region; Madagascar; Dominican amber; copal; Biodiversity Hotspots
dissertation or thesis