New Species of Fly

Hybrid Fly Posted by Picasa

According to National Geographic News the above is a relatively new species of fly that formed as a hybrid of two existing species:

The Lonicera fly evolved as a hybrid of two existing U.S. species, the blueberry maggot and the snowberry maggot, according to the study. The newfound species is named after the honeysuckle plant (scientific name: Lonicera), which the insect’s life cycle revolves around.

Apparently, speciation by hybridization takes place in fish too:

German researchers have studied cichlids (a type of tropical freshwater fish) living in tiny volcano-crater lakes in Cameroon, West Africa. Their studies have shown that at least one cichlid species started off as a hybrid.

Among cichlids this process likely takes thousands of years. The Lonicera fly’s evolution, however, has occurred only in the 250 years since its honeysuckle host plant arrived in North America.

You can also go here for more info.

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4 Responses

  1. That is a very cool looking fly. Love those wings.

  2. I thought so too – reminds of a zebra.

  3. The actual article is available in this week’s Nature. All three species (the two parental species and the hybrid) are anatomically indistinguishable — they can only be differentiated by behavioral and genetic characters. That could very well be either of the ancestral species and not the hybrid.

  4. Yes,
    It could be – I was relying on NGN’s identification of it. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to Nature so I had to rely on NGN and New Scientist for info (otherwise I would have wrote a longer post). To me the interesting part was the linking of host shift and hybridization – makes sense though.

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