Some West Malaysian tachinids

Some West Malaysian tachinids
Many years ago Professor Donald Quicke gave me some malaise trap samples from a project he was running in the Cameron Highlands of West Malaysia. The specimens have languished in boxes for ages but just recently I have started to work on them using Crosskey (1976). The key works fairly well but there are quite ...

Another fantastic parcel from Eric & Martin 3

Another fantastic parcel from Eric & Martin
Today my postman huffed & puffed his way up the driveway with another box of specimens from Eric Fisher & Martin Hauser. My parcel wasn’t really all that heavy but I think the postie liked to make a point … he was feeling over-worked trying to get parcels to everyone before Easter 😉 Inside was ...

A few forgotten French Guianan insects 6

A few forgotten French Guianan insects
The other night I was looking through an old box of insects and discovered 5 trays of mixed French Guianan insects from my trip there in 2000. Most are Hymenoptera but there are a few interesting Diptera and other orders so I have decided to mount them and see who would like them. More photos ...

Mimicry in neotropical Asilidae 1

Mimicry in neotropical Asilidae
These are a few asilids I picked up in French Guiana, collected along forest edges in clearings where they sun themselves. When compared to bees of the genus Eulaema it is clear that they are very strong mimics but it is unclear to me why they copy Eulaema and not one of the other, commoner ...

French Guianan bumblebees

French Guianan bumblebees
Here is a selection of bumblebees and carpenter bees that I collected in French Guiana in 2000 – plus 1 that I was given. With a little help from Mitchener’s “Bees of the World” and some prompting from David Notton at the NHM I have identified these to genus: (scale marks are 1mm apart in ...

Euglossine bees 2

Euglossine bees
I have just been working through some euglossine bees that I obtained over the years from various sources – French Guiana (myself & Philip Soler) and Ecuador (Andrew Neild). With a little bit of keying (Mitchener’s “Bees of the World” & Lynn Kimsey’s key to the genus Exaerete) I discovered that they broke down to: ...

Tropical Pompilidae & Sphecidae 1

Tropical Pompilidae & Sphecidae
Yesterday Colin Vardy got in touch with me to ask if I was still interested to get my old French Guianan pompilids identified. Colin normally charges for his time but he had a batch of French Guianan to identify so offered to do mine at the same time. This offer was very generous of him ...

Portuguese evaniids

Portuguese evaniids
A little while ago Jorge sent me some specimens that he had collected in Portugal last year. Most were tachinids but I’d also requested any evanioids that he might find and he obliged with a lot of very small evaniids. I have just had a chance to work on them and they break down into ...

More Finnish tachinids

More Finnish tachinids
I received a really interesting parcel of tachinids a month ago from Jaakko Pohjoismäki – species that are uncommon/unknown here but that are common in Finland. Jaakko had let me know the names of most specimens but today I decided to work through them and just make sure that I could come to the same ...

Portuguese Diptera & Hymenoptera galore!

Portuguese Diptera & Hymenoptera galore!
This weekend I have been mainly sorting over another great batch of tachinids (plus a few interesting Hymenoptera) from Jorge Almeida. There was a mixture of 100+ malaise trapped insects plus a few pinned specialities, such as Cinochira atra, Carcelia tibialis, Clairvillia biguttata, Estheria picta, Peleteria cf. rubescens, Zeuxia zernyi etc. I have done a ...

Pennapoda sp. ??? (pe-taxon #30)

Pennapoda sp. ??? (pe-taxon #30)
This little phasiine is undoubtably a member of the Trichopodini, from the leaf-like bracts along the hind tibiae. This is very similar to some of the taxa from French Guiana – namely fg-taxon #8 #9 & #43. EDIT (04/10/2010): This keys quite comfortably to Homogenia sp. but it is much smaller than the other Homogenia ...

Souzalopesmyia sp. (Muscidae, pe-taxon #29) 1

Souzalopesmyia sp. (Muscidae, pe-taxon #29)
This is a very unusual (dexiine?) tachinid with plumose aristae, deep gena, tiny calyptrae & a straight median vein. See also pe-taxon #10 – a very similar tachinid with a brown body colour. EDIT (09/10/2010): After showing this to Adrian Pont he thinks that they most resemble muscids but will do further research and report ...

Ebenia sp. (pe-taxon #28)

Ebenia sp. (pe-taxon #28)
This is a small, black tachinid with plumose antennae, suggesting Dexiinae. These are photos of both the male and the female. EDIT (04/10/2010): This keys very confidently to Ebenia and looks very similar to one identified by Monty. This genus has been reared from chrysomelid beetles.

pe-taxon #27

pe-taxon #27
This tiny little tachinid (2mm) has very unusual wings – very wide, like Phasia spp., with mottling around the SC vein, but it clearly isn’t a phasiine.

Phytomyptera sp. (pe-taxon #26)

Phytomyptera sp. (pe-taxon #26)
This is a very small (3-4mm) tachinid with nothing particularly exceptional about it but it does have a very distinctive, long second arista segment, rather like Triarthria sp. EDIT (04/10/2010): This keys very confidently to Phytomyptera sp.

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (pe-taxon #25)

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (pe-taxon #25)
This is the only Cryptocladocera in the peruvian sample and it looks very like the ones from French Guiana – fg-taxon #04.

Archytas aurifrons, Townsend (pe-taxon #24)

Archytas aurifrons, Townsend (pe-taxon #24)
This is another tachinine tachinid with a slightly variable abdomenal patternation but there and many fundamental similarities between the 2 featured specimens – taking into consideration that one is male and the other is female. This taxon is very similar to fg-taxon #80. EDIT (6/8/2011): After a visit to the BMNH I believe this to ...

Deopalpus sp. (pe-taxon #23)

Deopalpus sp. (pe-taxon #23)
Another medium-sized tachinine tachinid – this time with a white-dusted head. The body is shiny, jet black, there are Peleteria-bristles and the tip of the abdomen is slightly fuscous. Det: Monty Wood, 2010.

Itacuphocera (pe-taxon #22)

Itacuphocera (pe-taxon #22)
This is a lovely, tiny little tachinine tachinid – shiny, jet black all over with a yellow head and red eyes. Unusually for this subfamily it also has a petiole on the median vein. In fact the median vein has a completely remarkable shape. EDIT (04/10/2010): This isn’t a great fit but it seems to ...

Pyrrhodexia & Acronacantha nubilipennis (pe-taxon #21)

Pyrrhodexia & Acronacantha nubilipennis (pe-taxon #21)
This is an amazing dexiine with a very Estheria-type face – small antennae, plumose arista, very deep gena, very chin-less profile and a very stretched-out ‘top lip’ with a second, higher pair of vibrissae. The bend in the median vein is quite acute and the part of m after the bend is very concave. There ...