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Mythicomyiids are tiny brachycerous flies (normally 1­p;3 mm in length) that frequent desert flowers chiefly in the spring and fall months. Recently, certain genera of this family have been discovered to be associated with the primitive gymnosperm Welwitschia in Namibia (Evenhuis, unpubl.), which supports the hypothesis that primitive members of this family could be candidates for potential pollinators of primitive angiosperms in the Cretaceous. The mythicomyiids have traditionally been treated as a subfamily of Bombyliidae. Rohdendorf (1961b) proposed raising the Cyrtosiinae (= Mythicomyiinae) to familial status, but stated that corroborative work had to be done to verify his proposal. Zaitzev (1992) has shown that the Mythicomyiidae are a monophyletic group basal to the remainder of the Bombyliidae and has given characters to separate them from Bombyliidae s. str. Yeates (1994) corroborates the monophyly and sister-group relationship of the group to the Bombyliidae, but preferred to retain it as a subfamily within the Bombyliidae. Phylogenetic analysis of the family by me (unpubl.) supports the treatment of this group of flies as a separate family.

Kovalev in Kalugina & Kovalev (1985) described a single species from the Jurassic of Siberia, which is similar in wing venation to members of the extant Psiloderoides group of genera, adults of which lack mouthparts and the immatures of which are parasitic on grasshopper egg pods in southern Africa and Australia. The fossil species Crosaphis anomala (see under Crosaphididae) may also be a member of this group of genera.

The genus Mesomyites Cockerell was originally placed by Cockerell (1917b) in Empididae as closely related to Mythicomyia Coquillett. It has since been relegated to synonymy under Styringomyia Loew in the Limoniidae.

An undescribed genus of Cyrtosiinae has been seen by me from the Oligocene Florissant shales of Colorado marking the first fossil representation of the family from the North American continent. The undetermined specimen illustrated by Kovalev (1986: 150) as a possible Glabellula or other mythicomyiid from the Cretaceous strata of western Mongolia has been examined by me and is in too poor a condition to make any conclusions as to its systematic position among the Diptera. Some of the venational and antennal characters illustrated by Kovalev are not evident in the type specimen and it may not be a mythicomyiid.
Ref.: Zaitzev (1986, review of amber taxa; Evenhuis, 2002b, review of Tertiary amber taxa).


Genus BORISSOVIA Evenhuis

BORISSOVIA Evenhuis, 2002b: xxx. Type species: Carmenelectra shechisme Evenhuis, 2002, by original designation.

rohdendorfi Zaitzev, 1986: 815 (1987: 150) (Proplatypygus). PA: Russia (Siberia) (Upper Cretaceous) [A].
      rohdendorfi Zaitzev, 1982: 104 (Proplatypygus). Nomen nudum.


CARMENELECTRA Evenhuis, 2002b: xxx. Type species: Carmenelectra shechisme Evenhuis, 2002, by original designation.

shechisme Evenhuis, 2002b: xxx. PA: Baltic(Eocene/Oligocene) [A].


*PLATYGASTER Zetterstedt, 1838: 574. Type species: Platygaster arcticus Zetterstedt, 1838, by monotypy. [Preoccupied by Latreille, 1809.]
*SPHAEROGASTER Zetterstedt, 1842: 232 (new replacement name for Platygaster Zetterstedt). Type species: Platygaster arcticus Zetterstedt, 1838, automatic. [Preoccupied by Sturm, 1826.]
*GLABELLA Loew, 1873a: 210. Type species: Glabella femorata Loew, 1873, by monotypy. [Preoccupied by Swainson, 1840.]
*GLABELLULA Bezzi, 1902: 191 (new replacement name for "Platygaster . . . und Sphaerogaster . . . und Glabella"). Type species: Platygaster arcticus Zetterstedt, 1838, by subsequent designation of I.C.Z.N. (1989: 148).
PROGLABELLULA Hennig, 1966e: 15. Type species: Proglabellula electrica Hennig, 1966 [= Platygaster arcticus Zetterstedt, 1838], by monotypy.

brunnifrons Evenhuis, 2002b: xxx. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A].
Hennig, 1966e: 15 (Proglabellula). PA: Baltic Region (Eocene/ Oligocene) [A].
grimaldii Evenhuis, 2002b: xxx. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A].
hannemanni Schumann, 1991: 79. PA: Germany (Miocene) [A].
kuehnei Schlüter, 1976: 358. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A].

Genus MYTHENTELES Hall & Evenhuis

MYTHENTELES Hall & Evenhuis, 1986: xxx. type species: Mythicomyia mutabilis Melander, 1961 [= Empidideicus propleuralis Malnder, 1950], by original designation.

baltica Evenhuis, 2002: xxx. PA: Baltic (Eocene/Oligocene) [A].

Genus MYTHICOMYIA Coquillett

MYTHICOMYIA Coquillett, 1893: 208. Type species: Mythicomyia rileyi Coquillett, 1893, by monotypy.
dominicana Evenhuis, 2002: xxx. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A] (N.L. Evenhuis, personal observation).


PALAEOPLATYPYGUS Kovalev, 1985: 186. Type species: Palaeoplatypygus zaitzevi Kovalev, 1985, by original designation.
PALEOPLATYPYGUS. Incorrect original spelling of Palaeoplatypygus (Kovalev, 1985: 185).

zaitzevi Kovalev in Kalugina & Kovalev, 1985: 186. PA: Russia (Siberia) (Middle Jurassic) [C].

Genus PIEZA Evenhuis

PIEZA Evenhuis, 2002a: xx. Type species: Mythicomyia angusta Melander, 1961, by original designation.

dominicana Evenhuis, 2002a: xxx. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A].


PROCYRTOSIA Zaitzev, 1982: 104. Nomen nudum.
PROCYRTOSIA Zaitzev, 1986: 817 (1987: 152). Type species: Procyrtosia sukatshevae Zaitzev, 1986, by original designation.

sukatshevae Zaitzev, 1986: 817 (1987: 152). PA: Russia (Siberia) (Upper Cretaceous) [A].


PROPLATYPYGUS Hennig, 1969b: 58. Type species: Proplatypygus succineus Hennig, 1969, by monotypy.

succineus Hennig, 1969b: 58. PA: Baltic Region (Eocene/Oligocene) [A].

Questionably Included in MYTHICOMYIIDAE

hirsuta Scudder, 1890: 563 (Acrocera). NE: USA (Eocene) [C].

This page last revised 17 October 2002.