Numerous fly (Diptera) larvae develop in plant saps or rotting exudates, but few have adapted to resin flows of trees. Among these are some primitive syrphid genera (Syrphidae), Cheilosia in the temperate region and Alipumilio in the neotropics. A recent study of resin harvest in the eastern Brazilian Amazon has revealed a potentially new species of Alipumilio that develops in resin lumps on some species of Burseraceae trees. These resin flows are primarily stimulated by larvae of a bark-boring Sternocoelus weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). This fly larva's morphology, movement in the resin and unsuccessful rearing apart from fresh resin indicate it may be consuming microbial spores or sap materials coming out of tree wounds. While Sternocoelus weevils are found in resin lumps in a range of Protium and other Burseraceae species in the region, Alipumilio larvae were only found in the resin of some of these species. The study speculates that some trees do not support Alipumilio because their resin's chemical properties are inhospitable to these larvae or inhibit the micro-organisms that they feed on.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics