Since publication of the Beyoncé fly story, I’ve been scrutinising horseflies before swatting them. I don’t swat them indiscriminately, you understand, but if one of them lands on me with a view to a chew, then that’s it. I’d rather leave them to fly another day, but I react badly to their bites. To prevent that, I react badly to their presence. I like to think of it not as killing defenceless insects, but as engineering a new breed of faster, cannier blood-suckers.
Although Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae received all the media attention, it is only one of five new species described by Bryan Lessard and David Yeates in the Australian Journal of Entomology. Equally striking is a second new species of goldenfly recorded from the same part of Far North Queensland.
Scaptia (Plinthina) aurifulga — the golden lightning fly — is currently known only from the Davies Creek region, east of Mareeba, where it overlaps the range of the Beyoncé fly. The GL fly is adorned with shimmering golden bands along either side of its abdomen and around its ‘waist’. This is a fly dressed to the nines.
|Scaptia (Plinthina) aurifulga Lessard, 2011|
(From Lessard and Yeates, 2011)
In future, I will check before I swat. I am extending this courtesy to these flies only. They shouldn’t be too hard to spot, decked out with all that bling. Others get the treatment.
Lessard, B.D. and Yeates, D.K. (2011). New species of the Australian horse fly subgenus Scaptia (Plinthina) Walker 1850 (Diptera: Tabanidae), including species descriptions and a revised key. Australian Journal of Entomology 50: 241 – 252.