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Genus Physoconops

Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops obscuripennis Thick-headed Fly - Physoconops obscuripennis Small wasp - Physoconops - male Wasp-like fly - Physoconops obscuripennis Curated specimen from the Essig Museum - Physoconops townsendi - female Curated specimen from the Essig Museum - Physoconops townsendi - female unknown fly, or possibly a wasp - Physoconops brachyrhynchus Conopidae - Physoconops sylvosus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Sciomyzoidea
Family Conopidae (Thick-headed Flies)
Subfamily Conopinae
Genus Physoconops
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Physoconops Szilady, 1926
Numbers
Physoconops has 13 species in our area. Twelve are listed here and in Stone(1); the thirteenth, Physoconops weemsi, was described in 2007(2).
3 subgenera:
    Physoconops with 5 spp. (analis, discalis, fronto, nigrimanus, and obscuripennis)
    Pachyconops with 7 spp. (brachyrhynchus, bulbirostris, excisus, floridanus, gracilis, townsendi, and weemsi)
    Gyroconops with 1 sp. (sylvosus)
Size
circa 10-16 mm (3) (guide photos)
Identification
For terms and characters used to identify Physoconops, see the discussion under Physocephala here.
A key to New World Physoconops species appears on pg. 184 of Camras (1955), but it is somewhat difficult to use for our area (continental US and Canada) due to the inclusion of a very large number of species from Mexico, Central, and South America. Also, while Camras (1955) has (often very brief) discussions of most species, it only contains detailed descriptions for species newly described therein (none of which occur in our area, except P. floridanus). So it is best to check a putative ID by consulting the original descriptions in the literature.
For hyperlinks to original detailed species descriptions, check the BugGuide "Info" tab page for each individual species (look there under the "Synonyms and other Taxonomic Changes" section).
Life Cycle
One species is known to parasitize leafcutter bees, Megachilidae (4).
Remarks
Remarks on New World Physoconops can be found in Camras (1955) starting on pg. 161.
See Also
Physocephala are often mistaken for Physoconops. For details on how to distinguish these two genera, see here.
Members of our four genera in the tribe Cerioidini (within family Syrphidae) are sometimes mistaken for Conopinae.
Print References
Arnett, p. 888--description (3)
Camras, Sidney (1955), "A Review of the New World Flies of the Genus Conops and Allies (Diptera: Conopidae)", Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. 105, pp. 155-187 (Full Text)
Kröber, O. (1915). Die nord- und südamerikanischen Arten der Gattung Conops. Archiv fü Naturgeschichte, 81(5):121-160 (Full Text)
Marshall, photo 507.9 (4)
Stuke, J.-H., Skevington, J. H. (2007). The Conopidae of Costa Rica (Diptera). (Part 1: Conopinae-Conopini & Tropidomyiini). Zootaxa 1528:1-40 (Full Text)
Van Duzee, M. C. (1927). A contribution to our knowledge of the North American Conopidae (Diptera). Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 16(18):573-604 (Full Text)
Williston, S. W. (1882). The North American species of Conops. Trans. Conn. Acad. Arts & Sci., 4:325-342 (Full Text)
Williston, S. W. (1903). Family Conopidae. Biologia Centrali-Americana: Insecta. Diptera. Vol. 3, pp. 79-86 (Full Text)
Works Cited
1.A Catalog of the Diptera of America North of Mexico
Alan Stone, et al. 1965. United States Department of Agriculture.
2.A new conopid fly from Florida and Georgia (Diptera: Conopidae)
Sidney Camras. 2007. Insecta Mundi 0007: 1-4.
3.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
4.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.