Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Par(helophilus) For The List

It's been a quiet weekend on the poking around for inverts front. Too much time spent catching up on some Zs or watching football that is lacking excitement and atmosphere. Yesterday I managed to nip out for the briefest of brief forays to Misterton Marsh, south of here on the way to Lutterworth. I'd been there all of 30mins when the threatening skies just started to offload water.

Still, all in all though it was a successful 30mins as I managed to sweep another hoverfly tick from umbelifers. I knew immediately that it was one of the Parhelophilus spp. - smaller and darker overall than Helophilus, almost browny-orange rather than yellow looking. It was potted and retained to check which one and what features to confirm. When checking the book, it was clear I'd need to look at a feature on the hind femora, and there was no way that was going to happen whilst it was flapping about in the pot and the feature would not show on a typical photo either. Sorry fly, again! Before dispatching it though, I was able to check and confirm it was male - otherwise it would have been pointless as the key feature to separate the two main contenders is a male-only feature. The eye-spacing on these spp. is not the same as most hoverflies so despite the eyes being spaced apart, this is a male (per the large genital capsule on the undercarriage).

This hairy tubercle on the underside and near the base of the hind femora is key, confirming Parhelophilus frutetorum
(vs P. versicolor which does not show it).

I managed to photograph a couple of other hoverflies on umbelifers too before the shower.

Cheilosia illustrata - several of these seen.
They're hairy, black and white like bumbling Pandas on the flower heads.

Riponnensia splendens - now I know what I'm looking at, they seem to be fairly common

Other bits seen included ....

Early-instar Cinnabar larvae

Loads of Leptopterna dolabrata

Not only have I used the new editor, I've managed (so far) to produce this post using the new Microsoft Edge browser which installed itself on my PC with the last update. I stopped using Internet Explorer for blogging a few years ago as there seemed to be compatibility issues. Firefox has been fine, and I'll probably still use it unless I start to notice any advantages whilst using Edge for other applications.


Gibster said...

That Riponnensia looks very smart, never seen one of those.

Why is there a short, Greek tax inspector standing behind that coffin? Did he take a wrong turn out of the loo and end up onstage?

Skev said...

Greek? Or did you mean Geek! Either way he's American .... you're not seriously gonna say you've never seen or heard of Sparks ....

I'm sure I've ignored a lot of small plain hoverflies in the past not realising. Only seen 62spp. though so plenty still to find and probably a lot of those will be in VC55.