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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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#1 2018-08-18 12:55:49

Mmmm
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 6

Colyer and Hammond genus confusion

I've just got myself a copy of Colyer and Hammond's 'Flies of the British Isles'.
On trying to identify a fly which turned out to be Tachini fera, I initially id'd it as Echinomya fera from the book (p267). Only on doing a Google search did I discover there is no such thing (I couldn't find any reference to it whatsoevr). The book has a few things to say about The genus Tachina (p263), one of which is that they have a narrow elongate body. Certainly not the case for fera!

So now I'm a little confused. Is it just that the book is very out of date? If so I'd better be liberal with pinches of salt.

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#2 2018-08-18 13:20:25

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 786

Re: Colyer and Hammond genus confusion

Colyer and Hammond was correct at the time, but its nomenclature is now out of date. In the 1951 edition, they placed the species fera in Larvaevora (=Echinomyia), whereas today both fera and grossa are placed in Tachina. As our understanding of the original use of generic names improves, the nomenclature will stabilise. (and less salt will be required!)

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#3 2018-08-18 14:43:49

Mmmm
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Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 6

Re: Colyer and Hammond genus confusion

Ahh, ok. I'll keep the salt handy then.
Are there a lot of examples of this in the book or was this more of an exception?

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#4 2018-08-18 15:08:03

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 786

Re: Colyer and Hammond genus confusion

There are others. But if you do come across a name you don't recognise, you can look it up in the checklist on this site - for instance, both Larvaevora and Echinomya come up as synonyms of Tachina if you search for them.

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#5 2018-08-18 23:22:04

Mmmm
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 6

Re: Colyer and Hammond genus confusion

Thanks, that's a great resource to know about. It will come in handy. Thanks for pointing it out.

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