The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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#1 2014-05-07 16:28:48

Marc Taylor
DF Members
Name: Marc Taylor
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 44

New learning experience

Afternoon all

I was let out for a couple of hours on Monday and visited the the chalk grassland to the south of Swindon. I collected some specimens and noted that the largish orangey ones were doing my killing for me, who needs ethyl acetate with these helpful chaps and chapesses?

I couldn't find any obvious damage, although a few look like they would after a week or two drying out on the pin, does anyone else have any experience of pierced and undamaged specimens.

I invested a few minutes using Stuart B's excellent Key's to Families and feel I am looking at Empidoidae, ironically the specimen I watched being pierced was a smaller almost black specimen which too had a huge piercing mouth part, poetic justice?

Are these the dreaded beast my elders and betters have warned me of decimating a pooter if not checked carefully?

Off to work, I'll take my id'ing further later . . . .



#2 2014-05-09 01:53:49

DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 656

Re: New learning experience

Empis tesselata - that is what my money would be on for your pooter assassinators .

Nigel Jones



#3 2014-05-09 02:19:41

Name: John Showers
From: Northants
Registered: 2008-02-28
Posts: 72

Re: New learning experience

If the larger orangey coloured ones were generally orange in colour, rather than blackish with orangey coloured wing bases then Empis trigramma or E. punctata are possible, rather than E. tessellata. Both trigramma and punctata are generally yellowish and have three dark stripes running down the thorax. They are separated on the presence/absence of notopleural and superalar bristles. They are well described in Colin's key to the Empoidea but if you haven't got the key but you think your specimen is one of these let me know and I'll send you the details of how to separate them.



#4 2014-05-09 14:42:38

Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 235

Re: New learning experience

Marc Taylor wrote:

Are these the dreaded beast my elders and betters have warned me of decimating a pooter if not checked carefully?

I think it is mainly the large Tenthredo size Sawflies that are notorious for chewing up other insects in a pooter.

If the specimens killed by Empids are otherwise intact it may be interesting to see how they survive as dried specimens compared with normally killed ones. If the venoms and digestive juices affect chitin over time these specimens may be more likely to fall apart.
Empids were not mentioned in the project on venomous flies but if chitin is attacked that may be of interest.
http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/t3757 … flies.html



#5 2014-05-20 11:23:25

Laurence Clemons
DF Members
Name: Laurence Clemons
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 364

Re: New learning experience

'largish orangey ones' also sound like Scathophaga stercoraria. While not large or orangey Coenosia tigrina can be a pain if accidentally sucked into the pooter.



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