2 species of flies discovered in Abu Dhabi

2 species of flies discovered in Abu Dhabi
The Dance Fly

Abu Dhabi - Two new species added to global list of invertebrates after being discovered in Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

By Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 25 May 2016, 6:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 May 2016, 9:18 PM

Two new species have been added to the global list of invertebrates after being discovered in Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve during regular seasonal trapping carried out of researchers of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The Gasteruptiid Wasp (Gasteruption alwathbaense), measuring 11.3mm, and the Dance Fly (Drapetis wathabiensis), measuring 2-3mm, have now been added to the list of hundreds of invertebrates already recorded on the reserve.

"This discovery further enhances Al Wathba Wetland Reserve's status as a biodiversity hotspot that must remain protected. EAD is proud of this discovery and will continue to ensure the effective management and monitoring of species, water quality and vegetation on the reserve," said Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD.

Know the flies
Gasteruptiid Wasps
They are mainly grey with white feet, long thin abdomen and long legs. They have a distinctive way of holding their abdomen high above their bodies. Females either lay their eggs in the nests of twig-dwelling solitary bees, or parasitise their larvae. 
Dance Flies
They are small to medium-sized flies and the colour ranges from yellow to black. They may be pollinose or lustrous, but never have a metallic gloss. The head is often small and rounded with relatively large eyes. Courtship involves the male presenting a dead fly to the female.
The new Gasteruptiid wasp (Gasteruption alwathbaense) will have its genetic data analysis and DNA sequencing released through the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD). It is one of four Gasteruptiid wasp species described in the UAE.

The Dance Fly (Drapetis wathbaiensis) species have been confirmed by Dr Andreas Stark from the German Entomological Institute, Senckenberg in Germany.

Dr Salim Javed, Acting Director of Terrestrial Biodiversity has suggested the name for the Dance Fly, Drapetis wathabiensis 'as it draws on its origin of first discovery, cementing Al Wathba in the history books for species identification'.

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve - which is 45 minutes away from Abu Dhabi - was declared a protection zone by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1998.


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