Something from Yves 2

Something from Yves
This week has been a good one for deliveries – today I received a parcel from my friend Yves. This is part of a batch from Nouragues, French Guiana, collected by Stephane Brule a few years ago. My first impressions are that the material has a lot of dead leaves and it seems to have ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

Argyrochaetona sp. (French Guiana)

Argyrochaetona sp. (French Guiana)
This little Carcelia-like tachinid stood out from the rest of the Carcelia and Houghia spp. because the dusting was very different and the humeral callus had bristles arranged in a line. I have made a slightly tentative identification of Argyrochaetona sp. because it runs very well to this genus in Monty’s key (even up to ...

Sturmiodexia sp. (French Guiana)

Sturmiodexia sp. (French Guiana)
As the name suggests these are dexiines that look remarkably similar to relatives of Sturmia, such as Winthemia. However these are clearly not Winthemia because they have a very plumose arista. Det: Monty Wood, 2010.