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Lapita (Diptera: Dolichopodidae: Sciapodinae) from Fiji and Vanuatu

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Lapita Bickel (Diptera: Dolichopodidae: Sciapodinae), previously known only from New Caledonia, is newly described from Fiji and nearby Pacific archipelagoes, and includes 21 species in four species groups. The vakalevu group comprises four new species, Lapita vakalevu from Fiji and Tonga, and L. morleyi, L. savura and L. tavuki, all from Fiji. The tuimerekei group comprises two new Fijian species, L. batiqere and L. tuimerekei. The paradoxa group comprises two new species from Viti Levu, Fiji, L. paradoxa and L. maafusalatu. The denticauda group includes 13 species, L. greenwoodi (Bezzi), comb. n., from Viti Levu, L. sanma, a new species from Vanuatu (Espiritu Santo), and eleven additional new species, all from Fiji: L. adusta, L. macuata, L. coloisuva, L. delaco, L. timocii, L. bicolor, L. veilaselase, L. kuitarua, L. denticauda, L. sarnati, and L. vatudiri. Most Lapita species are known only from single or adjacent sites, suggesting a high level of local endemicity. As demonstrated elsewhere for the Sciapodinae, there is a strong connection between Fiji and Vanuatu, with species groups shared between the two archipelagoes. Biogeographical processes to account for the distribution of Lapita on Fiji and New Caledonia are discussed.


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