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Photo#174394
Small wasp or fly? - Apolysis

Small wasp or fly? - Apolysis
Aromas, San Benito County, California, USA
March 22, 2008
Size: ~4mm
Saw this guy in the afternoon in our yard on Ceanothus. (live oak, chaparral habitat). Antennae make me think Hymenoptera, but I'm not sure.

NEal Evenhuis (and I usually
NEal Evenhuis (and I usually trust him) mentioned that this looks like Apolysis... and it does in a way...

Scenopinidae?
Scenopinidae? I can't think of much else that matches up. The large thorax is similar to the one's already pictured in the guide.

 
Not scenopinidae, but likely Mythicomyine Bombyliidae.
Looks like an empid or Scenopinid (e.g. Prorates), but looks to me to be actually a Mythicomyine Beefly.

This is a small true Fly (Diptera)...
as indicated by the whitish halters (or, more exactly, the right one).
But finding out the family is rather more tricky. At first, I thought of a male Black Fly (Simuliidae), but closed anal cell, clearly visible on the left wing, rules out any Nematoceran, despite the seemingly many-segmented antennae.
There is hardly any possiblity left other than a small Empidoidea (Orthorraphous Brachycera), either Empididae or more likely Hybotidae, but as you pointed out, antennae don't match very well.

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