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#1 2017-03-25 14:58:35

jimmymac2
DF Members
Name: James McCulloch
From: West Sussex
Registered: 2015-07-10
Posts: 87
Website

Hoverfly

Hello, I was wondering if anyone would be able to help with the identification of this hoverfly netted on the edge of wet woodland and marshland please? If any better photos are needed please let me know.

James


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#2 2017-03-25 16:35:25

anymarks
DF Members
Name: Neil Marks
From: Norfolk
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 93

Re: Hoverfly

Hi James
The strong stigma and central darkening of the scutellum indicate Dasysyrphus albostriatus. Does it have a pair of light grey stripes on the thorax ?

Regards
Neil

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#3 2017-03-25 20:44:27

andrewsi25
DF Members
Name: Ian Andrews
From: Pocklington, East Yorkshire
Registered: 2008-07-11
Posts: 246

Re: Hoverfly

It looks to be Meliscaeva auricollis, but a view from a little less close, with the wings open, would make it easier to be sure. It is not D. albostriatus as the yellow bars on the abdomen are too short, the thorax is not black enough and the wing stigma is not black enough.

Ian

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#4 2017-03-25 23:45:17

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 42

Re: Hoverfly

wing venation doesn't match Dasysyrphus or Meliscaeva.

I match the wing venation with Chamaesyrphus scaevoides.
Britain should have two species: C. scaevoides and C. caledonicus.
keys are available but you will need a microscope to separate the species.

I would think that it should be Chamaesyrphus scaevoides because C. caledonicus is rare/scarce in UK.

RES handbook with keys:
http://www.royensoc.co.uk/sites/default … Part01.pdf

antenna of male lateral view:
http://delta-intkey.com/britin/images/verr4581.gif

pinned:
http://syrphidae.myspecies.info/sites/s … k=nWUDrhmS

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#5 2017-03-26 00:18:05

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 42

Re: Hoverfly

a problem for me that I must explain:
a quick search for wings led me to a photo with a match. Google displayed the photo when I used Chamaesyrphus scaevoides as a search term. The photo was at flickr labelled Pelecocera scaevoides. I assume that this species was moved to Chamaesyrphus genus. Thus, I name Chamaesyrphus scaevoides as the species which matches wing venation.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/63075200@ … 740156014/

Pelecocera tricincta is also an option. I cannot find photos of this species. I would start searching the keys for this species first, then key it to Chamaesyrphus. Pelecocera tricincta seems more likely since it is reputed to be in West Sussex.

I hope that this makes sense :-D

The wing lacks the vena spuria that is found on wings of many hoverflies. maybe the poor quality of the photo?

https://books.google.com/books?id=ySL_A … mp;f=false

Last edited by Phaonia73 (2017-03-26 00:44:36)

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#6 2017-03-26 23:01:39

Geoff F
DF Members
Name: Geoff Foale
From: South Devon
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 168

Re: Hoverfly

Where was this one found, James? You have a Scottish sounding surname but give a 'home location' as West Sussex.

Chamaesyrphus are a northern Scottish species. Pelecocerini are restricted to the southern coasts.

Have a look from the side. Pelecocerini have very distinctive large antennae with a straight top edge and are half moon shaped underneath. The lower portion of the face substantially juts forward.

If none of these options fits your sample I would go with Meliscaeva auricollis; particularly with the forward angled spots on tergite 2.

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#7 2017-03-27 01:15:07

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 42

Re: Hoverfly

a better photo of the wing will be helpful. I am not an expert of syrphidae. I just happened to notice that the wing looks odd compared to the aforementioned species. I suppose that the wing seems to be different due to the watery appearance of the low quality photo. My outline could be off.

just trying to be helpful.


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#8 2017-03-27 13:33:04

jimmymac2
DF Members
Name: James McCulloch
From: West Sussex
Registered: 2015-07-10
Posts: 87
Website

Re: Hoverfly

Thanks everyone, this is a very interesting conversation! This was found at my local nature reserve which is just a few hundred metres over the border into Surrey, Hedgecourt, and was seen flying around a small patch of heather next to a dry path through very wet woodland. I have attached a couple of better photographs, which I hope help.


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#9 2017-03-27 14:52:09

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 42

Re: Hoverfly

much better photos of the wing and antennae. I must agree with Meliscaeva auricollis for this species.
The wings in the original photo looked far away from Meliscaeva. I still see a few inconsistencies but overall it is a match.

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#10 2017-03-27 18:21:55

Geoff F
DF Members
Name: Geoff Foale
From: South Devon
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 168

Re: Hoverfly

When there is any uncertainty over identification it is always worth considering all options; even if you end up back with the simple answer. Many uncommon species get overlooked and wrongly 'identified' as the common alternatives.

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#11 2017-03-27 19:04:22

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 42

Re: Hoverfly

well said, Sir Geoff.

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#12 2017-03-28 18:01:16

Roger Morris
DF Members
Name: Roger Morris
From: Stamford
Registered: 2008-02-08
Posts: 31

Re: Hoverfly

I am not sure why there was any serious question of the ID after Ian Andrews provided the correct ID - Meliscaeva auricollis. Ian is highly experienced and is one of the the organisers of the Hoverfly Recording Scheme. To explain why this is M. auricollis:

1. The scutellum is dusky yellow and the head is strongly concave, which takes us towards the Syrphini. It rules out the Pelecocerini where the head is much more transverse and the humeri are exposed (and hairy)

2. Within the Syrphini, it does not have strong yellow thoracic markings, nor is there a strong loop in vein R4+5. The eyes are bare. This rules out a substantial proportion of the fauna including Dasysyrphus and parts of Melangyna.

3. The shape of the markings on T2 is somewhat crescent-shaped, which is typical of Meliscaeva auricollis.

The above analysis follows the basic s of the Keys to Tribes and genera in Stubbs & Falk. A similar analysis can be given using van Veen.

Having examined well over 100,000 photographs in the past 5 years, my advice would be that most recorders encounter relatively widespread species but that from time-to-time some very interesting animals are encountered. If you want to get a feel for the coverage that the main cohort of recorders encounter, the reports for 2014 and 2015 that can be downloaded from:

http://www.bacoastal.co.uk/Entomology/2 … report.pdf
http://www.bacoastal.co.uk/Entomology/2 … report.pdf

As a safe bet, it is always wise to start with the commonest options and err on the side of caution.

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#13 2017-03-28 21:27:58

jimmymac2
DF Members
Name: James McCulloch
From: West Sussex
Registered: 2015-07-10
Posts: 87
Website

Re: Hoverfly

Thanks everyone for your help, I am glad that the identification is now certain and I've learnt a lot just from this one ID query!

James

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