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New species of window fly found in Finland

The newly discovered Finnish species is one of over 400 different window flies found worldwide.

Tieteelle uusi metsäikkunakärpänen (Scenopinus jerei).
The new species has been officially named Scenopinus jerei. Image: Itä-Suomen yliopisto

A new species of fly, named Scenopinus jerei, has been discovered in Finland.

The species is a slender, 4- to 5-millimetre-sized window fly with a black-coloured haltere, which is the balancing organ of a two-winged fly.

The fly species is likely to be an overlooked, boreal forest specialist living in the nests of cavity-nesting birds, especially those found in forest environments.

There are about 420 window fly species worldwide, most of which live in hot and arid areas of the globe. The species found in Finland may have also adapted to living in dry habitats, such as animal nests, where their larvae prey on other insects.

Research into the new species suggests it can be found all over Finland, especially in southern and central parts, but they are very few in number.

As yet, there are no known reports of the fly being found outside Finland.

Existence suspected for 20 years, but research work only just completed

The existence of the fly species has been known for about twenty years, but at first it was misdefined as being unknown.

That was until Jere Kahanpää, a researcher with the Helsinki Museum of Natural History, began to research the species which eventually led to it being officially recognised with the scientific name Scenopinus jerei.

The name derives from Kahanpää's first name, in recognition of his central role in the discovery of the species.

The official scientific description was prepared by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku.

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