Polar Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1125–1131 | Cite as

First record of Trichoceridae (Diptera) in the maritime Antarctic

  • Odile VolonterioEmail author
  • Rodrigo Ponce de León
  • Peter Convey
  • Ewa Krzemińska
Original Paper


During the austral summer of 2006–07, abundant Diptera were found in the sewage system of the Base Científica Antártica Artigas on King George Island. These are here identified as Trichocera (Saltrichocera) maculipennis (Diptera: Trichoceridae), a Holarctic species widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere which has been introduced to some sub-Antarctic islands, but never been recorded in the maritime Antarctic. The distribution of the fly on King George Island indicates that it has been introduced by human agency. Although its origin is unclear, adult specimens have distinctive morphological features rarely represented in autochthonous populations in Europe. To date, larvae have been found only in the Artigas Base sewage system, but adults have been observed around the buildings and more widely in the vicinity. Given the species’ natural northern range, habitats and feeding preferences, it is likely to have good preadaptation permitting survival in the natural terrestrial ecosystems of the maritime Antarctic. We recommend that urgent eradication efforts are made.


Trichocera Non-indigenous species Anthropogenic introduction King George Island 



British Museum—Natural History, London, UK


Colección de Invertebrados de la Facultad de Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay


Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Kraków, Poland


Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, Neuchâtel, Switzerland



The authors wish to thank the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute for supporting this study. O.V. gratefully acknowledges receiving a SCAR Fellowship facilitating collaborative research with the British Antarctic Survey. The paper also contributes to the British Antarctic Survey ‘Ecosystems’ and SCAR ‘Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica’ programmes. The contribution of E. Krzemińska was partially supported by the grant of the Polish Ministry for Science and Higher Education No. NN303 803 940. Christophe Dufour and Jean-Paul Haenni (MNHN) are gratefully thanked for a loan of specimens from Switzerland. Dr. K. Hughes and two anonymous reviewers are thanked for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Odile Volonterio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rodrigo Ponce de León
    • 1
  • Peter Convey
    • 2
  • Ewa Krzemińska
    • 3
  1. 1.Sección Zoología de Invertebrados, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.British Antarctic SurveyCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Institute of Systematics and Evolution of AnimalsPolish Academy of SciencesKrakowPoland

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