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Helophilus (fasciatus?) - Helophilus

Helophilus (fasciatus?) - Helophilus
Golden Ponds, Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
July 10, 2018

Images of this individual: tag all
Helophilus (fasciatus?) - Helophilus Helophilus (fasciatus?) - Helophilus

Hi Steve,I am now leaning t
Hi Steve,
I am now leaning toward Helophilus fasciatus for this one as you suggested. Although the scape and pedical are darker , they are not truly black and a better picture might show them to be orange. Good work in searching through specimens.
See below for further comments.

Could be Helophilus latifrons. Safe in Helophilus

Don't the orange antennae eliminate latifrons?

It is difficult to see but it
It is difficult to see but it looks like it has a facial stripe that is orange and if this is the case then there are two alternatives, fasciatus or latifrons.
H.fasciatus has the scape (first segment) and pedicel (second segment) orange whereas they are black here. Helophilus fasciatus male has the frons noticeably narrowing toward antennae but not in this one.
In the web page Helophilus canacoll, one image shows the third antennal segment in profile looking orange in Helophilus fasciatus. More images may help as it is difficult from these pictures..
It is safe in Helophilus....

The facial stripe does indeed look orange.

And you are most right. The first and second antennal segments of fasciatus are orange in all images on BugGuide (where such an be discerned), and the Helophilus that I photographed looks to have dark first and second segments.

In all photos of latifrons on BugGuide and the two images on CanaColl, latifrons has entirely dark antennae. In most photos of fasciatus and the two images on CanaColl, fasciatus has an orange third segment

This means that, if my cruddy photos accurately show the antennae, the fly fits neither species.

As for the frons, you are vastly more experience than I at judging such things. However...
These images of fasciatus, taken from a similar angle as mine, appear to have a similarly shaped frons

vs this image of a male latifrons, which seems wider than mine

So, ID = Helophilus; if it hadn't flown off so inconveniently, I'd have had better and more photos.

Hi Steve,Thanks for all the
Hi Steve,
Thanks for all the hard work you have done and I think it is great because that is how we learn.
1484641, which you picked out as being similar to yours, is another difficult picture.
1484381 is definitely H.fasciatus, with scape and pedicel clearly orange.
461036 is latifrons and the frons looks wider as you say.
So maybe better pictures would show the scape and pedicel to be orange. They certainly are not coal black and I am leaning towards Helophilus fasciatus as you suggested. I think it should stay in Helophilus. Hope that is okay with you.

Just kidding
Too much time looking at birds, where hybrids are surprisingly frequent.

Leaving this fly, so documented in such mediocrity, in Helophilus seems appropriate
Thanks for the kind words, and even more so, for the dialogue. Your investment of time has led to a nice education for me, and that is greatly valued

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