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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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#1 2019-04-02 11:26:02

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1043

Empis borealis female?

I've tried using Mike Hacston's key on Empididae, and found it difficult since this one is so dark, and lacking contast on the thorax regarding stripes. I couldn't get another angle before it flew off. There were quite a few around in small groups at the time.

I wondered if the fact that I can see that the bristles are concentrated on the paler stripes (only visible in magnified images), combined with the fact that the wings are so dark and wide, that it could well be this species and not a similar one?

Nigel G.


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#2 2019-04-08 22:38:59

Geoff F
DF Members
Name: Geoff Foale
From: South Devon
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 215

Re: Empis borealis female?

I suspect you really need to see if it had a hairy face to be certain. Thoracic hairs on the paler areas and partly brown not all black legs do seem to lean towards that species and the location would be suitable.

Sometimes I try to identify Empis with those keys but all too often I have ended up grinding to a confused halt. Mike has done well with a tricky subject but I find that when you are using keys for the first time you need to be able to see some good photographs to double check that you are travelling along the correct road and haven't become accidentally sidetracked. There doesn't appear to be many available and reliable images showing the relevant areas.

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#3 2019-04-08 23:27:06

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 1043

Re: Empis borealis female?

Geoff, I agree with you about the need to see the face, but what I was hoping was that the combination I mention above might be unique.
If only I had a chance to get some sideways images...
Life seems to be full of these teasing incidents.
Maybe I should pick on something more productive!
I've submitted my observation anyway, in the hope that an expert might agree with my reasoning. And if he/she doesn't, that is fine by me.

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