deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asiloid Flies
deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Sample of Asiloid Flies

NSF REVSYS summer intern project 2012 Chicago

Summer intern Stephanie Leon working on a taxonomic revision of the Mydidae genus Namadytes

Funded by U.S. National Science Foundation REVSYS grant (DEB-0919333, local linkNSF link).

Text by S. Leon

I am Stephanie Leon, I graduated this summer from University of California, Riverside with a bachelors in entomology. I am a paid intern at the Field Museum, currently working on the fly family Mydidae, or mydas flies. Because of their very short annual activity, mydas flies are rarely collected, thus not much is know about their biology or taxonomy. My summer project (June–August 2012) focuses on a revision of the genus Namadytes Hesse, 1969. There are currently five described species in this genus. The purpose of this project is to review all Namadytes species, provide re-descriptions of these species, and potentially describe new ones. These descriptions will be based on external morphological characters, internal morphology of male and female genitalia, as well as geographic distribution. I really enjoy working at the Field Museum - I have had the opportunity to visit many of their collections, including the insect collection and interact with their very friendly staff and researchers.