Nearctic Tachina spp.

Nearctic Tachina spp.
Here are a few nice-looking Tachina specimens from North America (actually Lake Prairie, Humboldt County, CA). I have tentatively identified them using Ravlin & Stehr (1984) and they come out as Tachina latianulum & T. algens, from the male genitalia.

Nearctic Leschenaultia spp.

Nearctic Leschenaultia spp.
Just been looking at a few North American tachinids and picked out some rather nice-looking Leschenaultia – a genus of quite large, spikey tachinids with a lovely dense bristle comb on the hind tibia. One came pre-identified by Dan Hansen, so I know it is probably correct, but the other 2 just keyed to Leschenaultia ...

Estonian tachinids

Estonian tachinids
I have finally finished identifying and databasing the majority of Villu’s Estonian tachinids! 🙂  There were just short of 200 European tachinids and lots of interesting species that were new to me – some of which are shown below. I still have to work on the French Guianan material but I will probably just bring ...

Some Argentinian, Bolivian & Costa Rican tachinids 1

Some Argentinian, Bolivian & Costa Rican tachinids
A few of the more dramatic specimens from the neotropics a sample kindly donated by Martin Hauser 🙂  Identifications were derrived by comparing ot material in the NHM collections, London. EDIT (6/8/2011): I have just spotted that Monty Wood has demoted Trichosaundersia Townsend to a synonym of Epalpus – so have amended this article accordingly.

Paradejeania rutiloides from the USA

Paradejeania rutiloides from the USA
This lovely 2cm long fly came from California, via Villu in Estonia 😀  Paradejeania is a very distinctive genus with a single species – there are many large tachinids with strong abdomenal bristles but none with such a characteristic triangle on the tergites, made by the marginals and discals.

fg-taxon #91 (Phasia sp.)

fg-taxon #91 (Phasia sp.)
This is a real Phasia lookalike with it’s body shape and wing venation, but I have run it through the keys in Sun & Marshall and compared the venation and genitalia to the figures and I can’t see anything that comes close enough to convince me that it is a Phasia sp. EDIT (Monty Wood ...

Pelecotheca (prob. Cryptocladocera) sp. female (fg-taxon #90)

Pelecotheca (prob. Cryptocladocera) sp. female (fg-taxon #90)
This one is unusual because the abdomen is tipped with a strange, shiny, flattened structure that resembles a squashed tube. EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is an example of a female Pelecotheca (probably the female of the large multi-fissicorn featherfaces so sub-genus Cryptocladocera). The flattened shiny structure is distinctive of this group of sub-genera.

fg-taxon #89 (Masiphya sp. – male)

fg-taxon #89 (Masiphya sp. - male)
A really unusual medium-sized tachinid with large curved-under genitalia. In addition to that it has widely separated T1+2 marginals, a projecting mouth edge, 2 katepisternals, quite short antennae & a small ‘Sturmia-spot’. EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is a male Masiphya sp. – a genus with highly distinctive male genitalia and (usually) with vibrissae high ...

fg-taxon #88 (Jurinia sp.)

fg-taxon #88 (Jurinia sp.)
EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is a Jurinia sp.

fg-taxon #87 (Myothyriopsis cf. bivittata)

fg-taxon #87 (Myothyriopsis cf. bivittata)
EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is Myothyriopsis poss. bivittata – the broad black vittae are quite distinctive. This genus has been reared from Heliconius butterflies.

fg-taxon #31 (Myothyriopsis sp.)

fg-taxon #31 (Myothyriopsis sp.)
EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is Myothyriopsis sp. – this genus has been reared from Heliconius butterflies.

Pheeewww! I’ve just finished sorting batch 3

Pheeewww! I've just finished sorting batch 3
I like to split the processing of Malaise trap samples into several distinct phases. The first phase is to empty the tubes of insects suspended in alcohol into individual tupperware trays and then work through them, splitting out the groups that I am interested in (mainly tachinids) and that I collect for friends. The tachinids ...

Third French Guianan batch arrives! 2

Third French Guianan batch arrives!
Newsflash – the third batch of flies from Jean Cerda in French Guiana has arrived. Looks like a really big sample too so I am keeping my fingers crossed for plenty of fun this winter!  More news to follow as I work through them 😀

Cordyligaster petiolata (Sophiini, fg-taxon #85) 2

Cordyligaster petiolata (Sophiini, fg-taxon #85)
This is my current favourite from Villu’s recent sample of tachinids from French Guiana – it looks very closely related to one I found in my last batch – see here. This identification was made by comparing the specimen to material in the NHM in London – many thanks to Erica McAlister & Kim Goodyear ...

A sample from Estonia 1

A sample from Estonia
I have just taken delivery of a really interesting sample of tachinids from Villu Soon at the Museum of Zoology, Tartu, Estonia. It is a mixture of 3/4 Estonian and 1/3 French Guianan samples so it is doubly exciting for me – things I can actually identify and add to my Palearctic collection PLUS more ...

fg-taxon #83 (Telothyria sp.) 2

fg-taxon #83 (Telothyria sp.)
This is a strange little tachinid with a fluffy thorax (the hair has been matted by alcohol in the photos) similar to Pollenia (Calliphoridae). It also has extremely large Carcelia-like eyes and narrow gena. The proboscis is also quite long and looks like it might project slightly in front of the mouth edge if it ...

fg-taxon #82 (Ebenia sp.)

fg-taxon #82 (Ebenia sp.)
This is a bit of an oddity and might actually be a rhinophorid – it has a fairly complete subscutellum; diverging calyptrae and a small, roundish head. But it’s hard to guess what neotropical rhinophorids look like. EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is an Ebenia sp.

Archytas aurifrons (fg-taxon #80) 1

Archytas aurifrons (fg-taxon #80)
This nice little tachinid looks very like a Tachininae – similar to fg-taxon #20 but with more black on the abdomen. EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): These are an Archytas sp. EDIT (6/8/2011): After a visit to the BMNH I believe these to be Archytas aurifrons, Townsend.

fg-taxon #81 (close to Itacuphocera sp.)

fg-taxon #81 (close to Itacuphocera sp.)
This is an interesting little taxon shaped a little like a queen wood ant, with a very bulbous abdomen. The basic colour is glossy black with quite a dense layer of hairs on the abdomen. The head is quite rounded – especially at the back, with long antennae and a yellow arista. EDIT (Monty Wood ...

Tachinids from Galicia, Spain

Tachinids from Galicia, Spain
A few weeks ago José Luis Camaño Portela contacted me and asked if I would mind helping him identify some tachinids that he had been collecting as part of a scheme to record the biodiversity in the Galicia region of north-western Spain. It is an unusual location from a collecting point of view and he ...