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Wasp or Syrphid Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - male

Wasp or Syrphid Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - Male
Kellogg, Wabasha County, Minnesota, USA
July 27, 2001
A small wasp (?)or Syrphid Fly on Leadplant flower. Any ID's on it?

Moved from Physoconops obscuripennis.

Considering only the gestalt of this single profile view, there are a lot of initial candidates, e.g. Physoconops brachyrhynchus, P. obscuripennis, P. bulbirostris, and P. excisus. The red humeri might even suggest Physocephala marginata...though the clear profile view of the hind femur (which is clearly not basally swollen) eliminates that genus.

I've tried to figure this one out a number of times. I think I've finally got it.

Notice that the cheeks are clearly the rest of the face. That eliminates both bulbirostris and excisus, as Camras (1955) indicates they have dark cheeks.

To decide between the remaining two candidates, P. brachyrhynchus and P. obscuripennis, I studied the descriptions of those species (and their synonyms) given by Williston and Van Duzee (see appropriate links on the Info pages) and the key in Camras (1955).

P. obscuripennis is described as having legs mostly black; humeri yellow to silvery white pollinose with the pleural stripe only vaguely defined above. The delineation between the hyaline and infuscated portions of the wing are diffuse (which the specific epithet presumably refers to). And the 3rd antennal segment is significantly shorter than the 2nd.

In P. brachyrhynchus, the legs are mostly red; the humeri are red; and the pleural stripe is quite well defined. The 1st basal cell is hyaline, and its forward edge provides a fairly sharp delineation between the infuscated and hyaline portions of the wing. Also, the 2nd and 3rd antennal segments are roughly equal in length.

In light of the above characters, I think this individual...with its mostly red legs; fairly clear pleural stripe; visibly hyaline 1st basal cell, sharply separating infuscated and hyaline portions of wing; and subequal 2nd and 3rd antennal segments...falls under P. brachyrhynchus.

Note: this is a male, since it lacks a theca (= large "bump" below 5th sternite).

Moved from Physoconops.

THis is likely to be a species of Physoconops.
This genus is divided in three subgenera: Physoconops (5 species, widespread), Gyroconops (1 species, sylvosus) and Pachyconops (6 species, widespread).
I can't tell you which one of these it could be!
Gerard Pennards

This is a thick-headed fly, family Conopidae. Not sure which genus.

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