Gynoplistia General notes

Diptera
Limoniidae  : Hexatominae  : Hexatomini

At present Gynoplistia has 103 endemic named species in NZ. In all likelyhood this number will increase as further habitats, especially alpine, are studied. The few (ca 5) species that have been reared from larvae have narrow hook-like jaws usually associated with a predatory habit. One species is known to feed on earthworms in marginal soils of a very shallow alpine stream. Of the rest little or nothing is known of their habits, habitat, distribution or rarity, although similar larvae live within the damp soils and logs of forests, alongside streams or seepages or in swamps, similarly for those of open shrub and tussock habitats. All males have flabellate antennae, ie each antennal segment has a branch often long in males but very short in females. A few males have not yet been clearly associated with females and there is a possibility that descriptions of brachypterous females and their winged males may have led to doubling of names for a species. This can happen easily due to collectors taking specimens at various times and passing them to various authors who then apply new names to those species which they are unable to associate the sexes. Mis-association of males with females is a possibility. At present 49 species names have been confirmed, with another 20 probably assigned correctly. The rest remain in limbo for various reasons; some are known only from the type specimens collected during 1920-1935 and are not represented in present day collections. There are no directives or incentives in the appropriate institutes or incentives for research on these. But the same applies to all large genera in NZ and thus our understanding of biodiversity is all the poorer.



Text updated: 23/11/2015