deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asiloid Flies
deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Sample of Asiloid Flies

Afrotropical Asilidae Portal

The recent publication of the Manual of Afrotropical Diptera (MAD) chapter on Asilidae provided a comprehensive review of the Afrotropical robber fly fauna. With some 1,700 species and 148 genera, representing 22% and 27% of the world fauna, respectively, it is one of the richest faunas known to date. It is also one of the best-studied faunas, primarily due to the contributions by Jason G.H. Londt since 1977. He alone has described about 29% of the Afrotropical species and 30% of the generic level taxa, while other authors have also contributed significant revisions in recent decades.

The Afrotropical Asilidae Portal is a newly developed web-site that summarizes information on assassin flies to serve as a digital, structured and database-driven web-site. It will host and keep up-to-date the Afrotropical species catalog and provide information on each species through distribution maps based on specimen occurrence data and images. Through retrospective data capture of the taxonomic revisions by Jason Londt and other recent authors using GoldenGATE, the original descriptions (and potential re-descriptions) of all species and associated illustrations will be made digitally accessible on the portal via the open access Plazi TreatmentBankĀ platform. The portal will also feature a catalogue of the genera along with a list of their Afrotropical species, a structured generic synopsis as published in the MAD chapter, an updated key to Afrotropical genera, and keys to species on the Lucidcentral key server.