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#1 2017-11-16 12:55:49

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1012

Phaonia valida female, maybe

I am sticking my neck out a bit here (=guessing), that this is a female Phaonia valida.
But I don't have a specific pointer to why this, rather than a similar species.
Is it possible to tell from these images?
Seen early October, just sitting on a bramble leaf.

Nigel G.


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#2 2017-11-16 16:01:24

AliCullaloe
DF Members
Name: Ali Shuttleworth
From: Fife, VC85
Registered: 2014-08-20
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

eyes are pretty hairy and ant3 black- Ph.errans?

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#3 2017-11-16 19:14:31

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1012

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

The key I have for Muscidae states that for P. errans, the front femur is largely darkened, whilst this one is pretty much all orange. However the key doesn't mention P. valida anyway, which is why I stated that I was guessing!

(This might sound a bit dis-jointed because I'm doing now 2 things at once!)

I can see that it used to be called Musca valida, and also P viarum. Now that is in the key ...!

It has femora entirely reddish-yellow, which is right. The basal segments of the antennae are not reddish-yellow too, which doesn't look good (it does look to be a white-ish colour though) . The antennae are definitely not all black, but overall quite pale, and where the arista is attached is yellowish. It certainly doesn't seem to fit for errans, but I wouldn't like to express confidence it's valida either! Typical awkward diptera species!

Nigel G.

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#4 2017-11-17 12:34:11

AliCullaloe
DF Members
Name: Ali Shuttleworth
From: Fife, VC85
Registered: 2014-08-20
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Yep - in the RES key valida is viarum, which is in the adjacent couplet to errans. This fly's eyes are uber-hairy so it's not valida (per the key). The pics don't have good focus on the front tibia though they appear not to have a posterior bristle. This is a good feature for both errans and valida, as is the two pairs of pre-scutellar acrostichials which isn't mentioned in the key. The antenna are probably always going to have a silvery reflection at the angle the photo's taken at so i would struggle to use that character.

Anyway ... in the RES (Fonseca) key (1) pre-sut acrostichials fine only; (11) mouthedge not prominent; (13) palps normal (can't see but palpata has 3 post dcs so it's not palpata); (14) 4 post dc; (15) scutellum red at apex; (19) front tibia no posterior bristle; (21) eyes long haired;

At this point you're down to 2 species (perdita and errans) all on features which are clearly visible with the caveat that there really isn't a posterior bristle on t1. The front femur is not blackish so I'd key it to errans since we have enough information on every couplet.

Every day's a school day so I'm hoping a proper expert can confirm (or otherwise!) that logic big_smile

Cheers
Ali

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#5 2017-11-17 13:10:02

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1012

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Since you say it's a "school day", I have to admit to one of those silly blunders. I got to what I thought was the right point in the key by searching, and failed to notice that as a consequence I was keying as for "males"!
Apologies for that.

So back tracking on what I had said before, I go along with the ID of Phaonia errans (female).

Thanks for all that work you'd put in, Ali. Much appreciated. I hope an expert does come along and confirm, otherwise I shall submit it as a likely P.errans anyway.

BTW, I like the name of one of the following species - erronea. It just seems to sum up this process for me.

Nigel G.

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#6 2017-11-17 14:37:56

AliCullaloe
DF Members
Name: Ali Shuttleworth
From: Fife, VC85
Registered: 2014-08-20
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

No worries. I'm keen to work out my muscoidea muscles. Fortunately I've been looking at a few of them this year to spot those two acrostichials in front of the scutellum. One pair is more common. I'd say try to get some more focus on the legs in at least one shot even if the rest is blurred. Be interesting to see how far you could go with calypterate flies and field photographs.

btw, diptera.info is a good place for expert opinion on muscid queries.

Cheers
Ali

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#7 2017-11-17 16:22:47

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1012

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Absolutely agree about the need to get better pics of the legs. But it was the end of a long day in the field, and I spooked it by moving without due care.

I can't say I want to concentrate too much on muscidae - I prefer to spread my interest very widely across taxa that move, and also those that don't move. So when I return to an area of expertise such as this, I tend to struggle. I think some of the experts that make comments on diptera.info also look at this site. Therefore I will bide my time and get on with sifting through my intimidating pile of stuff not yet sorted at all.

Nigel G.

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#8 2017-11-17 22:10:37

Stephane Lebrun
Registered user
Name: Stephane Lebrun
From: Le Havre, FRANCE
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 599

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Definitely a female Phaonia errans. wink P. valida would have the vein M1+2 slightly curved apically and some reddish hairs on lower part of occiput. You could also see the black parafacial spot at level of antennae base, and guess the typical frontal triangle which is tapering as a long midline reaching almost the anterior part of frons.

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#9 2017-11-18 18:15:51

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1012

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Thank you, Stephane!

Nigel G.

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#10 2017-11-20 13:16:55

AliCullaloe
DF Members
Name: Ali Shuttleworth
From: Fife, VC85
Registered: 2014-08-20
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Phaonia valida female, maybe

Thanks, Stephane. Some very useful additional info.

Ali

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