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Mating pair of

Mating pair of "former Oligodranes" now... - Apolysis - Male Female
Piute Mountain, Kern County, California, USA
June 18, 2017
This bombyliid pair flew onto my pant leg on a pleasant morning while in a open yellow-pine forest with large patches of flowering Phacelia, Mimulus, and other about 8000' elevation near the summit of Piute Mountain, in the southern Sierra Nevada.

In our area (i.e. the nearctic, north of Mexico), the small apical notch of the antennae (with an even smaller arista poking out of it), together with the 3 posterior cells indicates genus Apolysis of subfamily Usiinae (4 posterior cells would indicate subfamily Phthiria). These two individuals have wings with cross vein m-cu present (closing off the discal cell distally), which would take them to genus Oligodranes of using the Bombyliidae key appearing in the 1981 MND(1). To get to Apolysis in the MND(1) key, one would need cross vein m-cu absent. But subsequent work by Evenhuis(2) found Oligodranes is best regarded as strictly palearctic, and all new world taxa formerly placed in Oligodranes were moved to Apolysis.

Note the female, on the left, has: head and thorax tan & brown (with some patterning of the notum); a pure white venter; pronounced transverse brown & white bands on the terga; and eyes well-separated, as in many dipterans. The male is black & gray; larger; and has eyes touching along their inner edges (again, as typical in many dipterans).

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