Sturmia bella update

Sturmia bella update
Just received an update from Dr Owen Lewis, the manager of the Sturmia bella project, a project set up to investigate the role of Sturmia bella in the decline of the Small Tortoishell (Aglais urticae) butterfly. I have attached his first-year report below (in PDF format) and it makes interesting reading. While Sturmia is undoubtably ...

Palearctic reorganization

I decided not to avoid it any more and started organizing my Palearctic collection into glass-topped drawers and unit trays. This means bringing together my British material (3 store-boxes); my Russian specimens (1 store box), Finnish specimens (1 store box) and my existing European specimens (1 store box). Having everything together in one place makes ...

Finnish finished

Finnish finished
Just packaged up some flies to go back to Jari in Finland – he lent me some of his Malaise trapped tachinids to identify, with the promise of sharing the identified ones between us. Towards the end I had to admit defeat with the Siphona sp. (the Finnish fauna is totally different to what I ...

fg-taxon-79 (Atacta sp.) 2

fg-taxon-79 (Atacta sp.)
This is another really lovely tachinid of medium size but with everything very rounded. The head is similar to some of the Goniini and even the posterior segments of the abdomen are rounded and whitened. UPDATE (30/1/2010): After comparing with the material at the NHM in London I think this is a species of Belvosia ...

Lauxanid #1 (Setulina cf. geminata)

Lauxanid #1 (Setulina cf. geminata)
This is really pretty little lauxanid with a lovely mottled wing pattern. This specimen has been donated to Steve Gaimari, who was kind enough to offer a tentative identification. Hopefully he will be able to confirm it when he gets the specimen 🙂

Cordyligaster analis (Sophiini, fg-taxon-78) 2

Cordyligaster analis (Sophiini, fg-taxon-78)
This spectacular fly looks very similar in style to European Mintho spp., but it is in fact a dexiine from the tribe Sophiini. The body length is 13mm, which makes is quite a large species, the calyptrae are very small and the palps are covered with small bristlets. It seems fairly obvious that it is ...

Ropalomerid #1 (Willistoniella sp.)

Ropalomerid #1 (Willistoniella sp.)
This is a really odd little fly that looks like a cross between a sciomyzid (snail-killing fly) and a sarcophagid (flesh fly), which isn’t far from the truth because the family Ropalomeridae sits within the Infraorder Muscomorpha and the Superfamily Sciomyzoidea. The family is nearly entirely neotropical, with 1 of the 26 known species occuring ...

Syrphid #4 – Ceriogaster sp. (female) 1

Syrphid #4 - Ceriogaster sp. (female)
This is a lovely black hoverfly with metallic green patches. The specimen has been donated to Menno Reemer – many thanks to him for the identification.

Syrphid #1

Syrphid #1
This wasp mimic hoverfly looks very similar to Stratiomyid #7. This specimen has been donated to Menno Reemer.

Microdon (virgo-species group) (French Guiana) 3

Microdon (virgo-species group) (French Guiana)
This amazing metallic green hoverfly was in the first batch from French Guiana. Menno Reemer is currently revising the Microdontini so the name is only tentative and might be subject to change. EDIT (1/5/2011): Menno has this specimen and has confirmed that it is part of the virgo-species group.

Syrphid #3

Syrphid #3
Another wasp-mimic hoverfly. This specimen has been donated to Menno Reemer.

Syrphid #2 (Palpada cf. scutellaris) 1

Syrphid #2 (Palpada cf. scutellaris)
An interesting black hoverfly with a beautiful yellow scutellum and contrasting grey dusting patches. This specimen has been donated to Menno Reemer. Many thanks to Martin Hauser for the identification suggestion.

Stratiomyid #7 (Hermetia sp.) 1

Stratiomyid #7 (Hermetia sp.)
A wasp-mimic soldier-fly – very similar in form to this syrphid. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser – many thanks to him for the name suggestion.

Stratiomyid #6 (Hermetia illucens) 2

Stratiomyid #6 (Hermetia illucens)
An interesting soldier-fly that seems to be a wasp mimic. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser. An identification of Hermetia illucens has been suggested by Rui and I think he is correct, as this is a very common species in the tropics 🙂

Stratiomyid #5 (Hermetia pulchra Wiedemann, 1830) 1

Stratiomyid #5 (Hermetia pulchra Wiedemann, 1830)
This is the largest soldier-fly in the samples, having a 23mm body length. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser – thanks to him for the identification.

Stratiomyid #4 (Artemita hieroglyphica) 1

Stratiomyid #4 (Artemita hieroglyphica)
This soldier-fly, and variations on this pattern, were very common in the dry-season samples. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser – many thanks to him for the identification.

Stratiomyid #3 (Panacris sp.) 1

Stratiomyid #3 (Panacris sp.)
A lovely blue-green tinged soldier-fly. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser – many thanks to him for the name suggestion.

Stratiomyid #2 (Cyphomyia sp.) 1

Stratiomyid #2 (Cyphomyia sp.)
A soldier-fly with strongly shaded wings. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser – many thanks to him for the identification.

Stratiomyid #1

Stratiomyid #1
A lovely blue-tinged soldier-fly. This specimen has been donated to Martin Hauser.

Bombylid #2 (Lepidophora cf. acroleuca)

Bombylid #2 (Lepidophora cf. acroleuca)
This is the first bombylid from the second batch of French Guianan flies. It is most remarkable for being covered in scales and at first glance it looked quite similar to some large mosquitos! David Gibbs has provided a tentative identification of Lepidophora cf. acroleuca (female) but very little work has been done in French ...