The taxonomy of flies of the genus Musca, and particularly of the important and widespread species or forms of the “domestica complex,” has received considerable attention in many parts of the world. In spite of this, the status of such forms as Musca vicina Macq., M. nebulo F., and M. cuthbertsoni Patton is not at all clear. Consequently, it is worthy of note that the work now being carried on at the laboratory of the U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, Egypt, and the opportunities there for coordinated field and laboratory studies of several of the forms and their interactions, offer real hope for securing significant information on the problem.
During a six weeks' assignment at NAMRU-3 in June and July, 1950, as consultant on taxonomic problems in the genus Musca, I determined that at least eleven species and subspecies of Musca occur in Lower Egypt, as follows: domestica vicina Macq., domestica cuthbertsoni (tentatively regarded as a subspecies), sorbens sorbens Wied., crassirostris Stein, xanthomelas Wied., tempestiva Fallén, albina albina Wied., vitripennis Meigen, larvipara Portsch., sorbens alba Mall., and lucidula Loew.
On temporary assignment as consultant to the Department of Entomology of U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, Egypt, from the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., under funds transferred by the Department of the Navy. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private ones of the writer and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Navy Department or the naval service at large.
Grateful acknowledgment is due to the staff at NAMRU-3, especially to Capt. J. J. Sapero, in charge, and entomologists Lt. Com. J. L. Knight, J. B. Gahan, R. L. Peffly, and Abdel-Aziz Salah, for their generous cooperation and many courtesies during the work reported here.