Some interesting flies from Paraguay

Some interesting flies from Paraguay
Today I received a small parcel of Diptera from Ulf in Paraguay – many thanks Ulf! 🙂  In the mix were lots of different families but he had sorted out mainly the calyptrates for me … with an emphasis on the tachinids, of course. Here are the first specimens from the parcel – 2 Tachinini ...

Trichophora (Diaphanomyia) aurifacies, Desvoidy

Trichophora (Diaphanomyia) aurifacies, Desvoidy
In this post I showed a species of Trichophora determined by Monty Wood. During a visit to the BMNH I discovered that there were no similar Trichophora spp. in their collection but in the same drawer I found Diaphanomyia aurifacies, which seems a very good fit … and this is obviously closely related to Trichophora. ...

Jurinia notata, Bigot (Bolivia)

Jurinia notata, Bigot (Bolivia)
In this post I showed a Jurinia sp. from Bolivia, determined by Monty Wood. During a visit to the BMNH I discovered a species called Jurinia notata, Bigot (holotype in the collection). Here are some photos of the BMNH material, including the holotype (sadly not in good condition) and an additional specimen. * specimen photos ...

Archytas aurifrons, Townsend

Archytas aurifrons, Townsend
Last week I spent a happy afternoon at the BMNH, courtesy of Erica & Nigel in the Diptera department. I decided to concentrate on a few genera and try to identify a few neotropical specimens. My first was Archytas, a large genus with many very similar species, because I have a few quite atypical taxa ...

Scarlet Tigers

Scarlet Tigers
The Scarlet Tiger is a very local species of moth, found mainly in the southern England. Normally I find them on Moor Copse, a nearby nature reserve with a small river running through it, but occasionally they do roam further afield (or perhaps get blown?) and this year I have seen one twice in my ...

More stacks

More stacks
Here are a few stacks of European tachinids make by Dave Dare the other day. The specimens are all on loan from the NHML (Armenian specimens) and ZMMU (Russian & Azerbaijani specimens) so I was keen to record some of the more interesting/rare things before either sending them back or passing them on to other ...

A really puzzling black tachinid

A really puzzling black tachinid
This weekend I have been having another look at the Armenian and Russian samples and hit the same problem … a really puzzling but very distinctive tachinid that just won’t key confidently. They bear a passing resemblance to Loewia sp. because they are shiny black with short antennae that are mounted on the face level ...

Cogden by the sea 3

Cogden by the sea
(updated, now that I have seen the specimens under a microscope! ;)) Today’s jaunt was to Cogden beach (Dorset, SY502881) to pick up a bit of the sea air and have a look at the coastal flora. We got out early to get into the carpark before it filled up and headed down to the path ...

My first stacks 7

My first stacks
Yesterday Malcolm Storey (bioimages.org.uk) brought over some new equipment he had just bought for photo-stacking, along with a ‘kit’ including a spare dSLR (3MP Nikon D100) and macro lenses. The real star of the equipment is Malcolm’s new StackShot – an automated system for racking a camera through pre-defined focus points and taking the photos ...

Last year’s tachinids all identified – finally! 1

Last year's tachinids all identified - finally!
I have finally finished going through the tachinids that I caught last year and putting names to them. It wasn’t as hard as it might seem because most of them were common species that I am very familiar with but it was still quite time consuming: The top box is full of tachinids, with a ...

Pantophthalmus little & large 2

Pantophthalmus little & large
Here are a couple of French Guianan Pantophthalmus spp. that I picked up from Erica’s volunteers at the NHM today (Pantophthalmus indet. on the left (22mm) and Pantophthalmus tabanninus (dark form) on the right (45mm)). They illustrate very nicely the wide range of sizes in the pantophthalmids – assumingly due to different rates of feeding ...

Some more Pantophthalmus from French Guiana 2

Some more Pantophthalmus from French Guiana
On Tuesday Erica McAlister lent me some pantophthalmids from a sample she had been sent by SEAG in French Guiana. Today I went through them identifying them to species and taking a few photos. The sample of 4 specimens was fairly typical for French Guiana – Pantophthalmus batesi (female), P.tabaninus (female) in normal colouration, P.tabaninus ...

pe-taxon #32 (Peru)

pe-taxon #32 (Peru)
This is a lovely little taxon, with matt-black ground colour and bright pale-grey bands of dusting on the thorax and abdomen. It fails to achieve a convincing result in MCAD.

possibly Hyphantrophaga sp. (Peru)

possibly Hyphantrophaga sp. (Peru)
This keys to Hyphantrophaga sp. but it needs confirming. EDIT (6/01/2011): Monty has said that this genus is quite anonymous and difficult to split … but they sometimes have hairs on the hind coxa (like Carcelia) and one of my 2 specimens does have this feature so I am tentatively assigning them to Hyphantrophaga.

3x Mystacella sp. (Peru)

3x Mystacella sp. (Peru)
These photos illustrate 3 species of Mystacella – a tachinid that, like Chrysoexorista, is a beautiful metallic green (sometimes across the whole body, but at the very least on the thorax) in life but this fades to golden brown when dead. Mystacella have the vibrissae emerging quite high above the mouth edge and a very ...

Austrophorocera cf. yahuarphrynoides (Townsend) (French Guiana)

Austrophorocera cf. yahuarphrynoides (Townsend) (French Guiana)
This one keys out nicely to Austrophorocera but this determination will need confirming. The abdomen has a fascinating and highly distinctive tuft of orange hair on the genitalia. EDIT (5/01/2011): Monty has confirmed this genus and said that the tuft of hairs looks like A. yahuarphrynoides (Townsend) but there are apparently a few similar species.

French Guianan evanioids 3

French Guianan evanioids
Today I had a request for some specimens of Evaniidae from Ricardo Kawada, a PhD student and researcher in Sao Paulo. This forced me to go over my French Guianan evanoids and I thought that I would take some photos while I was at it: * many thanks to Ricardo Kawada & David Smith for ...

Finnish tachinids 2010

Finnish tachinids 2010
A week ago I received a really nice parcel of tachinids from Jari Flinck in Finland and today I had time to sort over them for the first time and take some photos. Here is the list so far: Billaea kolomyetzi (a male and 2 females – very nice), Campylocheta inepta, Tachina fera, Cylindromyia spp. (brassicaria, pusilla & ...

Calolydella geminata complex (Costa Rica)

Calolydella geminata complex (Costa Rica)
Adrian Pont gave me this rather beautiful Costa Rican tachinid recently and it instantly reminded me of the Eucelatoria sp. that I had been working on from Bolivia and French Guiana. The deep matt velvety black contrasting with the yellow dusting stripes, combined with the elongate body and legs are all quite distinctive features. When ...

Atactosturmia ??? (Surinam)

Atactosturmia ??? (Surinam)
Yet another fly that keys to Atactosturmia … would be nice one day to know which of them really are Atactosturmia 😉