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Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - male

Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - Male
Ozark Mountains, Searcy County, Arkansas, USA
July 4, 2007
Size: 10mm

Images of this individual: tag all
Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - male Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops brachyrhynchus - male

Moved from Subgenus Pachyconops.

This keys to P. brachyrhynchus in Camras (1955) via these characters: Frons with yellowish (whitish) areas, not entirely black, and lacking a sharply defined "T"-pattern; 1st posterior cell not entirely hyaline; cheeks yellow (or whitish); frons pale laterally with dark medially; 2nd and 3rd antennal segments subequal; distal abdominal segments black; dark species; 1st basal cell hyaline. The Arkansas locale is within the range of this species.

While this individual is much more black overall than other BugGuide posts of P. brachyrhynchus, Camras mentions (on pg. 163) that "this predominantly dark species is rather variable". He also mentions that "the pleural stripe is ordinarily white", as is seen in the 2nd image here.

Also, the original description of the species (as Conops brachyrhynchus) by Macquart, as quoted by Williston here, agrees well with the overall very black form seen here.

Finally, Williston remarked in his comments at the end of the description of the synonym P. xanthopareus here, that: "Two additional male specimens from Connecticut differ in their much deeper black, the legs in part, the antennae almost wholly so, the spot above the base of the antennae larger, the humeri and scutellum scarcely reddened, and the dust markings throughout more gray."

In light of all the above, I'm fairly confident the male in this post is the more "melanistic" form of P. brachyrhynchus referred to above by Williston.

Moved from Physoconops.

Moved from Thick-headed Flies.

A species of Physoconops.
A species of Physoconops.

Thank you
Thanks for the ID.