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Photo#1282334
Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female

Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - Female
Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo County, California, USA
August 7, 2016
Size: ~~ 10 mm (rough estimate)
Please refer to the comments with the first image of this series.

Images of this individual: tag all
Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female Whitish faced, brown-haired, bronze thorax Hover Fly with near-black-abdomen minimallistically marked with pale-yellow - Lapposyrphus lapponicus - female

Moved
Moved from Syrphini.

Moved
Moved from Scaeva pyrastri.

After a dicussion with Martin
After a dicussion with Martin about this unusual, certainly not typical specimen, neither of us is certain of its identification and consequently think it should be relegated to Syrphini.

 
Thnks for looking into this interesting specimen, Bill & Martin!
Could it be an undescribed species ?

 
I am sure it is not an undesc
I am sure it is not an undescribed species and if I had the specimen on hand (under my microscope) it would be easy to identify. It is an interesting melanistic form, which is often caused by the pupa being exposed to low temperature. There are some very similar specimens on BG. In general it is common for Scaeva to have melanistic forms, so I tend to think it might be Sceava. But Sceava has very densely haired eyes (and Lapposyrphus not), and I can not see the hairs on the eyes.... I am sure one day we will figure it out!

 
Thanks a lot for your reply and insights, Martin !
As I found the animal around 3415 m, near the tree-line, it is likely that its pupa was exposed to low temperatures.
On the other hand, I looked at the eyes of all my photos with large magnification and could not discern any hair.
I have added a cropped frontal-view photo which shows ommatidia patterns but no apparent hairs on the eyes.

 
Yes. Good picture. This one h
Yes. Good picture. This fly has me confused and it certainly makes Scaeva look less and less and less likely and I have moved away from that identification. I have never seen melanic Lapposyrphus, however but I guess there is always a first time. The mostly whitish frons and lack of dust spots is also a problem but maybe ......
Very well done with the effort you have put in. This is how we learn and eventually improve Keys. I am acting only as Devil's Advocate. At least we know it is safe in Syrphini....

 
On a zoomed image, I thought
On a zoomed image, I thought I could see some hairs, especially on the right eye near the face. However, I would expect the hairs to be more obvious and your added picture has helped.
I don't know where to place it but it is safe in Syrphini. Thanks to Martin for taking time out from his busy schedule to look at problematic flies.

 
So after looking at a bunch o
So after looking at a bunch of specimens, I think you can distinguish Lapposyrphus from Scaeva by the extent of the black stripe between they eyes (over the ocellar triangle) Also, but I have only a small sample size, when Scaeva is melanistic, the whole abdomen is black, while in Lapposyrphys the second segment still has yellow marks.....

 
Good detective work... as the
Good detective work... as the hairs on the eyes are difficult to discern sometimes. I'm on board. Well done Emile.

 
Thank you both for getting to the bottom of this one !!

Moved
Moved from Syrphid Flies.

Scaeva pyrastri
Lapposyrphus lapponicus has the frons extensively black whereas here the frons is almost exclusively white. The frons seems to have had an accident and been somewhat compressed. This is Scaeva pyrastri...... female. Sometimes specimens with totally black abdomens are found.

 
Thanks for your input, Bill !
Missing most of its abdominal markings makes this exemplar more of a challenge.

With all respect, I'd like to share some observations that made me think in the direction of Lapposyrphus lapponicus, as I'm not sure I understand the difference in darked area of the frons in female Scaeva pyrastri versus female L. lapponicus.

* The lateral ventral edges of the abdomen of S. pyrastri look solid whitish , wheras those of this specimen appear to match those of .

* The few remaining dorsal markings on this dark specimen appear yellowish to me, whereas the dorsal markings of S. pyrastri look more white.

* In dorsal view, the abdomen of L. lapponicus looks more laterally dilated versus more slender in S. pyrastri.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

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