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Taxonomic revision of the genus Schildia Aldrich, 1923 (Diptera: Asilidae: Leptogastrinae) with the description of new extant and extinct species

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Schildia Aldrich, 1923, a distinctive and rarely collected genus of Leptogastrinae (Diptera: Asilidae), is revised. Ten species are recognized, of which four are new to science. The nine extant species are Afrotropical, Neotropical and Oriental in distribution. The extant Neotropical species are Schildia alphus Martin, 1975, Schildia caliginosa sp.n. (Ecuador and Venezuela), Schildia fragilis (Carrera, 1944), Schildia guatemalae Martin, 1975, Schildia gracillima (Walker, 1855), Schildia jamaicensis Farr, 1963, and Schildia microthorax Aldrich, 1923. The only extant Afrotropical species, Schildia adina sp.n., is described from extant and subfossilized specimens (Malagasy copal) from south-western Madagascar. The extant Oriental species, Schildia malaya sp.n., is described from northern Malaysia. One extinct species, Schildia martini sp.n., is newly described from Dominican amber. Two new synonyms are proposed: Schildia ocellata Martin, 1975 is a junior synonym of Schildia gracillima and Schildia zonae Martin, 1975 is synonymized with Schildia fragilis. Redescriptions and descriptions of the genus and all extant and extinct species are provided. An identification key to the extant and extinct species is presented. Illustrations, photographs, and scanning electron micrographs are provided to support the descriptions and key. Distribution, biogeography, occurrence in biodiversity hotspots, seasonal incidence and biology are discussed.


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