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Help with ID

 
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Ian Andrews



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 180
Location: Pocklington, East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:01 pm    Post subject: Help with ID Reply with quote

Hi

For a newcomer, a good few species in Dalby Forest, North York Moors, today. Sericomyia silentis, Rhingia campestris, Leucozona glaucia, Syrphus torvus, Eristalis pertinax (very common!), Eristalis intricaria...etc. The only one causing me problems is a small Syrphus-type. I've hopefully attached a couple of photos.

I can key it through Stubbs... until I get to the dorsal hairiness of squamae. The abdomen is 5 or 6 mm, for the three I took. It is very common on heather across the local moors and at lowland heath on Allerthorpe Common. The 2nd basal cell is fully covered in microtrichae. The frons has a dark patch above the antennae, otherwise the face is yellow, but one did have a slight dark knob. All three i took were females.

Any ideas as to what it is? Is it Syrphus vitripennis or a Parasyrphus? Or something else?!
Any tips on observing dorsal surface of squamae? I find that after a quick freeze, the flies are rather difficult to manouevre in order to see such things!

Thanks for any help.

Ian Andrews
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John O'Sullivan



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 128
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian,

Have you had a look at Meliscaeva cinctella? The shape and general colouration, plus the dust on the sides of the thorax, together with the other information that you have supplied (including on the habitat) all seem to fit. A view of either sex from directly above would show the rounded inner edges of the yellow spots on tergite 2.

It's certainly worth mastering the squamal character (most easily with dead specimens; it's not easy to concentrate when a chilled fly is starting to wake up and move around!); but this is really only necessary for the occasional problematic individual. Don't get too hang up on it; with practice you will soon recognise Syrphus by the golf-club shaped spots on tergite 2 and the moustache bands on tergite 3 and 4. In your photo, the spot on tergite 2 is not golf-club shaped, ruling out Syrphus. Parasyrphus species tend to be rather small, slim and duller than your specimen; they also prefer woodland, and early September is well past the peak for them.

Some other nice species on your list. I hope that you will find plenty more.

All the best,

John
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ian

Do hold on to questionable specimens - I'm quite happy to take any quantity of material to check - records most helpful. Problem is that there are a goodly many where you will actually find it useful to have access to material to make comparisons.

The records you made in Dalby Forest - do please forward to the scheme - date, grid ref, species name, site, recorder name (sex of specimen optional) and any further notes - we can take several database files but Excel is easy.

Regards

Roger
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Ian Andrews



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 180
Location: Pocklington, East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Meliscaeva cinctella Reply with quote

Thanks John. It was Meliscaeva cinctella...obvious when you know, isn't it!

Thanks also for comments from Roger. I would be interested in sending the odd specimen to you for confirmation...what is the best way to package them? Especially that would be useful next summer, when I should be spending some time in the far NW of Scotland

In terms of submitting records to the scheme, I use Mapmate for moth records and sending to Local Recorder. Would that be any good for the Hoverfly Recording Scheme?

Thanks for all the help, much appreciated.

Ian
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That hairy squamae feature is a devil! Even with a pinned specimen and wings outstretched, I have never found it easy to be sure about the presence of hairs on the dorsal surface, rather than around the fringe The good news is that it's only Syrphus that has this feature and as they are so common, you'll soon find you can recognise them as Syrphus without reference to the squamae. But, beware Parasyryrphus, which are very similar, but often look significantly smaller and usually have darker legs. Wink
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Nigel Jones
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ian

There are several ways of getting specimens to me - the most obvious is to post them to me - I use old slide bokes with Plastozote and put a small number of staged specimens into one box. However, if you have large numbers of specimens and can deliver them to Natural England's York office it may be possible to arrange for them to be hand carried to Peterborough where I am based.

We can take data from mapmaye without difficulty.

If you are planning to work in Scotland - YES PLEASE - we are very short of records from much of Scotland so you'll be making a really big contribution.

Kindest regards

Roger
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Ian Andrews



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 180
Location: Pocklington, East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Preston Montford Reply with quote

Roger

Thanks for comments re posting specimens to you. This is all quite new to me. I am experienced with birds (A ringer) , moths (10+ years) and flowers (foreign trip leader) , but insects are relatively new.

When you say "staged specimens", I am not entirely sure what you mean!

Would I benefit from your Preston Montford course? I can work through keys OK, but have trouble with some criteria like squamae/humeri. I think that I would benefit, but have not been able to find details to book it...not even through the FSC site itself.

Grateful for pointers to booking the course...and dates ...etc.

Thanks

Ian
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ian

You might benefit from one of our cxourses on hoverflies - depends upon what you want to do but the intro to flies course might help in broader terms - we will have a bit of time to help hoverfly enthusiasts - so you could join us and profit

Regards

Roger
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