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The Bat Flies of La Selva -- Key to Bat Fly Species
Based in part on keys in Guimarães and Andretta (1956), Wenzel et al. (1966), and Wenzel (1976).
Note: Only species examined, mostly those caught by Tschapka and colleagues, were included in these keys. Several species with published records from La Selva and vicinity, especially from Timm et al. (1989), were excluded.

Key to the Bat Fly Families
Key to the Genera of Nycteribiidae from La Selva
Key to the Species of Basilia from La Selva
Key to the Genera of Streblidae from La Selva
Key to the Species of Anastrebla from La Selva
Key to the Species of Aspidoptera from La Selva
Key to the Species of Mastoptera from La Selva
Key to the Species of Megistopoda from La Selva
Key to the Species of Neotrichobius from La Selva
Key to the Species of Paratrichobius from La Selva
Key to the Species of Strebla from La Selva
Key to the Species of Trichobius from La Selva


Key to Bat Fly Families

Wings absent. Head folded back on thorax at rest, rotated forward for feeding. Scutellum absent. Ctenidium (comb of closely-spaced thick spines) across ventral part of abdomen and at anterior lateral margins of the mesosternum. Nycteribiidae
Wings present, reduced, or absent. Head held anterior to thorax. Scutellum present. Ctenidium absent or along posterior ventral margin of head. Streblidae


Key to the Genera of Nycteribiidae from La Selva

Eyes with a single facet. Tarsal segment I of all legs shorter than the remaining segments taken together. Abdomen of female with six dorsal sclerotized tergites. Host: Thyroptera discifera. Hershkovitzia primitiva
Eyes with two facets. Tarsal segment I of all legs much longer than the remaining segments taken together. Abdomen of female with two or three dorsal sclerotized tergites. Basilia


Key to the Species of Basilia from La Selva
Note: males of Basilia are difficult to distinguish and must usually be identified by their association with females. The key to males is based on specimens and written descriptions; no male specimens of Basilia ortizi were available for examination.

1a. Abdomen with forceps-like organ on ventral side of abdomen arising from near posterior tip and folded anteriorly (male). 2
1b. Abdomen without terminal forceps-like organ on ventral side of abdomen (female). 5
2a. Sternite 4 with cluster of at least 18 short thick setae just anterior to forceps-like organ. 3
2b. Sternite 4 with cluster of no more than 11 short thick setae just anterior to forceps-like organ. 4
3a. Tergite 2 with some setae anterior to the posterior margin. Basilia ortizi
3b. Tergite 2 with setae restricted to the posterior margin. Basilia ferrisi
4a. Tergites 2 and 3 with some setae anterior to the posterior margin. Basilia tiptoni
4b. Tergites 2 and 3 with setae restricted to the posterior margin. Basilia anceps
5a. Abdominal tergite 1 with very long setae along posterior margin, extending beyond posterior margin of second abdominal tergite. Host: Myotis nigricans Basilia ferrisi
5b. Abdominal tergite 1 with shorter setae along posterior margin, extending no further than the midpoint of the second abdominal tergite. 6
6a. Tergite 1 with posterior margin interspersed with long and short setae. Tergite 2 with few setae restricted to midline and lateral margins of anterior half of plate. Hosts: Myotis and Rhogeessa species. Basilia anceps
6b. Tergite 1 with setae along posterior margin long and uniform in length. Tergite 2 with more setae in midline and lateral margins of plate and with setae present from anterior to posterior margin of plate. 7
7a. Tergite 2 with two elongate posterior lobes. Tergite 1 with 8-10 long setae arising from posterior margin on each side of midline. Basilia ortizi
7b. Tergite 2 without posterior lobes. Tergite 1 with 2 long setae arising from posterior margin on each side of midline. Host: Mimon crenulatum. Basilia tiptoni


Key to the Genera of Streblidae from La Selva

1a. Head with comb of closely-spaced, thick spines (ctenidium) along posterior ventral margin. 2
1b. Head without ctenidium along posterior ventral margin. 5
2a. Ctenidium consisting of only 18-19 spines, restricted to postero-ventral part of head Eldunnia breviceps
2b. Ctenidium consisting of numerous spines, extending around sides to dorso-lateral parts of head. 3
3a. Wings brachypterous. Broad scale present on side of head behind ctenidium. Metelasmus pseudopterus
3b. Wings macropterous. Broad scale on side of head present or absent. 4
4a. Broad scale present on side of head behind ctenidium. Hind tibiae with numerous short setae, lacking conspicuous setae longer than the others on dorsal surface. Anastrebla
4b. Broad scale absent from side of head behind ctenidium. Hind tibiae with 2-8 macrosetae conspicuously longer than the others on dorsal surface. Strebla
5a. Wings reduced. 6
5b. Wings normally developed and functional. 11
6a. Thorax shield-like in ventral view, anterior and posterior margins broadly rounded. Hind legs conspicuously longer than the others. 7
6b. Thorax lacking broadly rounded margins in ventral view. Hind legs not conspicuously longer than the others. 8
7a. Femur I with inner face armed with stout spines. Wings with only two or three longitudinal veins. Neotrichobius
7b. Femur I with inner face lacking stout spines. Wings with four or more longitudinal veins. Megistopoda
8a. Median mesonotal suture extending posteriorly beyond the transverse suture to the scutellum. Mastoptera
8b. Median mesonotal suture not extending posterioly beyond the transverse suture. 9
9a. Median mesonotal suture bifurcate anteriorly. Exastinion clovisi
9b. Median mesonotal suture not bifurcate anteriorly. 10
10a. Abdomen clothed in short setae dorsally. Palpi nearly vertical. Aspidoptera
10b. Abdomen clothed in long setae dorsally. Palpi nearly horizontal. Anatrichobius scorzai
11a. Thorax shield-like in ventral view, anterior and posterior margins broadly rounded. Femur I with inner face armed with stout spines. Hind legs conspicuously longer than the others. Paratrichobius
11b. Thorax lacking broadly rounded margins in ventral view. Femur I with inner face lacking stout spines. Hind legs may or may not be conspicuously longer than the others. 12
12a. Costal vein (anterior margin of the wing) and first longitudinal vein (R1) with strong macrosetae up to the point where they join. Palpi with setae along margins only, ventral surface bare. Trichobioides perspicillatus
12b. Costal vein and first longitudinal vein lacking such strong macrosetae. Palpi with setae on ventral surface and along margins. 13
13a. Thorax with anterior margin well anterior of first coxae in ventral view. Hind legs greatly elongated and twice as long as the forelegs. Speiseria ambigua
13b. Thorax with anterior margin between the first coxae in ventral view. Hind legs less than twice as long as forelegs; if elongated, then fore and middle legs are also elongated. Trichobius


Key to the Species of Anastrebla from La Selva (modified from Wenzel et al., 1966)

1a. Eyes without externally distinct facets. Anastrebla nycteridis
1b. Eyes with seven or eight externally distinct facets. 2
2a. Prescutum sparsely hirsute, the median hirsute area usually not extending beyond the anterior suture. Wing with first longitudinal vein (R1) essentially bare dorsally, with no more than a few setae distally. Anastrebla modestini
2b. Prescutum more densely hirsute, the median setose area extending beyond the anterior pigmented suture. Wing with first longitudinal vein (R1) bare at base only. Anastrebla mattadeni


Key to the Species of Aspidoptera from La Selva

Mesepisternum (lateral plate of thorax between coxae I and II) with all dorsal setae long. Tergum I+II (dorsal anterior sclerotized plate of abdomen) with three or four rows of conspicuous, long bristles, in addition to the short bristles present near inner anterior margin and ventrally. Host: Sturnira lilium. Aspidoptera delatorrei
Mesepisternum with setae heterogeneous in length, having the outer setae on dorsal surface short. Tergum I+II with only two rows of long bristles, in addition to a group of short ventral bristles. Host: Artibeus jamaicensis. Aspidoptera phyllostomatis


Key to the Species of Mastoptera from La Selva

Total body of male about 0.9mm, of female about 1.2mm. Host: Tonatia silvicola. Mastoptera minuta
Total body of male about 0.7mm, of female about 1.0mm. Host: Tonatia brasiliensis. Mastoptera new species #1


Key to the Species of Megistopoda from La Selva

Wing narrow with two veins uniting with costa. Hind femur nearly as long as entire body. Megistopoda aranea
Wing wider with three veins uniting with costa. Hind femur only a little longer than abdomen. Megistopoda proxima


Key to the Species of Neotrichobius from La Selva

1a. Wing wide with three veins reaching wing margin. Neotrichobius new species #1
1b. Wing narrow with two veins reaching wing margin. 2
2a. Wing with posterior vein terminating just beyond cross vein; with vein originating from cross vein and extending to wing margin. Neotrichobius stenopterus
2b. Wing with two veins extending to margin joined by cross vein; without vein originating from cross vein. Neotrichobius delicatus


Key to the Species of Paratrichobius from La Selva

Femur I with complete row of short setae medial and parallel to the row of six stout spines on inner face. Hind femur nearly as long as thorax and abdomen combined. Paratrichobius longicrus
Femur I with only two or three short setae medial and parallel to the row of six stout spines on inner face. Hind femur shorter than abdomen. Host: species of Uroderma. Paratrichobius dunni


Key to the Species of Strebla from La Selva

1a. Frontoclypeus entire. The second, anterior pigmented mesonotal suture lacking or indistinct. 2
1b. Frontoclypeus with a pair of detached plates or with an unsclerotized median suture. Second anterior pigmented mesonital suture usually distinct (absent in S. christinae) 3
2a. Tibia III with two or three macrosetae on dorsal surface. Eyes consisting of a single row of about four facets. Bristle at apex of third longitudinal vein not a strong and conspicuous macroseta. Strebla hertigi
2b. Tibia III with six to eight macrosetae on dorsal surface. Eyes consisting of a single hyaline lens, facets externally indistinguishable. Bristle at apex of third longitudinal vein a strong and conspicuous macroseta which is at least twice as long as the preceding erect seta. Strebla hoogstraali
3a. Frontoclypeus with an unsclerotized median suture. Strebla galindoi
3b. Frontoclypeus with a pair of detached plates. 4
4a. Tibia III with two rows of setae on dorsal surface which are conspicuously longer than the other tibial setae, the apical ones the longest. 5
4b. Tibia III with only two or three distal setae on dorsal surface longer than the others, the preceding setae less than twice as long as the other tibial setae. 6
5a. Anterior transverse mesonotal suture absent. Strebla christinae
5b. Anterior transverse mesonotal suture present. Strebla wiedemannii
6a. Prescutum with three irregular transverse rows of setae laterally between the transverse mesonotal suture and the anterior suture. Strebla mirabilis
6b. Prescutum with only two irregular transverse rows of setae laterally between the transverse mesonotal suture and the anterior suture. 7
7a. Postvertex with eight macrosetae arising from posterior margin on each side. Thorasic setae anterior to mesonotal suture sparse. 8
7b. Postvertex with seven macrosetae arising from posterior margin on each side. Thorasic setae anterior to mesonotal suture denser. Strebla alvarezi
8a. Postvertex with relatively strong macrosetae. Larger overall and with longer thorasic setae than Strebla new species #1. Host: Carollia or Glossophaga species. Strebla guajiro
8b. Postvertex with relatively weak macrosetae. Smaller overall and with shorter thorasic setae than Strebla guajiro. Host: Hylonycteris or Lichonycteris species. Strebla new species #1


Key to the Species of Trichobius from La Selva

1a. Wing with sixth (posterior) longitudinal vein with setae all the way to basal angle. Trichobius lonchophyllae
1b. Wing with sixth longitudinal vein without setae near basal angle. 2
2a. Metasternum (posterior plate of thorax in ventral view) with posteriorly-projecting lobe arising from posterior margin (lobe quite short in T. handleyi). 3
2b. Metasternum without lobe arising from posterior margin. 6
3a. Metasternal lobe united with metepimeron so as to close the coxal cavities. Host: species of Tonatia Trichobius silvicolae
3b. Metasternal lobe shorter so that coxal cavities are not closed. 4
4a. Eyes small with indistinct facets. Metasternal lobe quite short. Host: species of Tonatia. Trichobius handleyi
4b. Eyes large with many distinct facets. Metasternal lobe longer. Various hosts. 5
5a. Scutum and prescutum (dorsal plates of thorax) more densely hirsute; median suture distinctly bifurcate. Host: Tonatia bidens. Trichobius new species #1
5b. Scutum and prescutum less densely hirsute; median suture with bifurcation indistinct. Host: usually species of Carollia or Glossophaga. Trichobius joblingi
6a. Eyes with a single facet. Host: species of Pteronotus. 7
6b. Eyes with more then one facet. 8
7a. Lateral lobe of tergum I+II on anterior lateral part of abdomen with 11-16 setae. Trichobius caecus
7b. Lateral lobe of tergum I+II with only 6-9 setae. Trichobius johnsonae
8a. Scutum and prescutum more or less evenly covered in setae. Trichobius dugesioides
8b. Scutum and prescutum (dorsal plates of thorax) with conspicuous areas devoid of setae. 9
9a. Prescutum with longitudinal cluster of six to nine very short setae at middle anterior to the transverse suture. Host: species of Phyllostomus. Trichobius costalimai
9b. Prescutum without such a cluster of setae. Host: Desmodus rotundus. Trichobius parasiticus