Icelia (Ervia?) sp. (Surinam)

Icelia (Ervia?) sp. (Surinam)
An interesting species that superficially looked similar to the Uramya from the same batch but this has bare eyes. EDIT (26/11/2010): Monty Wood says that this looks correct as Icelia but that Ervia is a close sister genus – possibly even the same thing when all is said and done.

Various interesting Polideini (Surinam)

Various interesting Polideini (Surinam)
The Polideini is becoming one of my favourite tribes because they have such unusual features. Most tachinids have a disc-like, hairy lappet covering the metathoracic spiracle (the hind one on the thorax) but the Polideini all have paired hairy lappets that don’t quite meet at the top, leaving a little hole. They also have a ...

close to Spathidexia (Gymnopalpus) setipennis (Surinam)

close to Spathidexia (Gymnopalpus) setipennis (Surinam)
This one keys quite confidently to Uramya sp. but it is a female so it lacks any tails that might confirm the determination. EDIT (26/11/2010): Monty has said that this is incorrect – it looks closer to Spathidexia and is possibly Spathidexia (Gymnopalpus) setipennis.

Pseudosiphona sp. (Surinam)

Pseudosiphona sp. (Surinam)
Pseudosiphona is a very common genus in the neotropics – in these photos you can see the small labellum (much shorter than in Siphona) and the katepisternal bristle arrangement (with the strong lower bristle close to the posteroventral edge) typical of this genus.

Pelecotheca s.g. Cryptocladocera (male) (Surinam)

Pelecotheca s.g. Cryptocladocera (male) (Surinam)
The Surinamese batch of flies from Menno yielded quite a lot of male Cryptocladocera – here are just 2.

Acaulona or Xanthomelanopsis ??? (French Guiana & Surinam)

Acaulona or Xanthomelanopsis ??? (French Guiana & Surinam)
Acaulona & Xanthomelanopsis look very similar to Pennapoda spp. but without the leaf-like antero-dorsal bristles on the hind tibia. The only difficulty with these flies is that I just can’t make up my mind whether they have enough dorsocentrals to qualify as Xanthomelanopsis.

Copecrypta sp. (Surinam)

Copecrypta sp. (Surinam)
This is the first of a batch of flies sent to me by Menno Reemer and caught by him in Surinam in 2006. Copecrypta (and the allied genera Deopalpus & Itacuphocera) are some of my favourites. They all have an interesting ant- or beetle-shaped abdomen.

An amazing series of photo by Paul Bertner from the forests of Guyana

An amazing series of photo by Paul Bertner from the forests of Guyana
Paul is a wildlife photographer and adventurer who contacted me a few months ago for tips on how to do serious entomology in the tropics for a trip he was planning. Paul is now trekking through Guyana with his backpack, cameras and laptop, taking photos of the wildlife he sees on his travels. He also reports ...

Stacking #2 2

Stacking #2
Here is Dave’s latest version of the Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) male – looking even better. To see Dave’s other photos click here.

close to Prosenoides (French Guiana)

close to Prosenoides (French Guiana)
Last night I went through a tray of tachinids with a plumose arista and was amazed to see this fly with an incredibly long, straight proboscis, which I must have overlooked countless times.

Spathidexia sp. (French Guiana)

Spathidexia sp. (French Guiana)
This specimen keys quite easily to Polygaster – it has the anterior katepisternal bristle ventral to the pleural suture and it has the trapezoidal scutellum with crossed apical bristles enclosed within crossed subapicals/laterals. But it differs from the description in Monty’s key by having a bare r1 and cu vein and hairs only on r4+5. ...

Ebenia sp. ??? (French Guiana)

Ebenia sp. ??? (French Guiana)
Recently I have found quite a few small, black tachinids with a very plumose arista. Some are entirely black and others are a little dusted but they all have the anterior katepisternal bristle directly ventral to the pleural suture, which is a very unusual feature and suggests to me that if they aren’t Ebenia (a ...

Atactosturmia/Leschenaultia/Lespesia sp. ??? (Bolivia)

Atactosturmia/Leschenaultia/Lespesia sp. ??? (Bolivia)
This specimen is proving to be a real problem – it keys to Atactosturmia because it has 3 rows of small hairs outside the vibrissa and a bristle-comb on the hind tibia (amongst other things). But Monty things that it looks more like Leschenaultia or a black Lespesia, which only have 1 row of hairs outside ...

Drino sp. ??? (French Guiana)

Drino sp. ??? (French Guiana)
Needs confirmation but the lack of occellar bristles is fairly indicative.

Thelairaporia sp. ??? (French Guiana)

Thelairaporia sp. ??? (French Guiana)
Needs confirmation.

Zizyphosturmia sp. ??? (French Guiana)

Zizyphosturmia sp. ??? (French Guiana)
Needs confirmation.

Chaetona sp. (French Guiana)

Chaetona sp. (French Guiana)
This is an interesting tachinid with a hairy (not plumose) arista, shaded wing, strong subvibrissal bristles, bristled prosternum etc. It keys to Chaetona but this genus usually has a plumose arista … this one is definitely hairy but not what I should call “plumose”, as such. EDIT (17/10/2010): Confirmed by Monty Wood from these photographs.

fg-taxon #71

fg-taxon #71
This is an interesting pair of specimens, both with short ‘tails’ and an ovipositor. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos but the specimens are very small and not suited to my simple camera set-up:

Daetaleus cf. purpureus (French Guiana & Peru)

Daetaleus cf. purpureus (French Guiana & Peru)
While examining what I thought was a Peruvian Mesembrinella (Calliphoridae, Mesembrinellinae) I realized that I was in fact looking at a tachinid – with a normal metathoracic spiracle and no pale hairs under the scutellum. Then when I examined my trap of Mesembrinella I found 2 more from French Guiana. They key out to Scotiptera (Dexinae) and ...

Stacking / compositing photographs 3

Stacking / compositing photographs
Recently a local photographer called Dave Dare got in touch with me to ask if I could lend him some specimens so that he could practice macro photo stacking/compositing. This seemed a great opportunity for me to help someone out and also have some of my favourite specimens photographed with very deep focus. Dave has ...