14 May 2010

Drain flies spark a lumper/splitter debate

You've likely seen them in your bathroom or at a public toilet: drain flies in the family Psychodidae. They flit from wall to wall where they cling like flecks of dust. Their hairy wings, antennae, and bodies are cute or scruffy, depending on your point of view. Barb Sharanowski featured one species on the North Carolina Insect Museum's Insect of the Week. Her post brought comments by taxonomists talking about which taxonomic concept should be accepted for this fly: Telmatoscopus albipunctata Williston, 1983 or Clogmia albipunctata (Williston, 1983). This species was sequenced for the FLYTREE project.

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