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Helophilus fasciatus - female

Helophilus fasciatus - Female
Parkwood, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
November 15, 2008
Size: 14 mm
This Helophilus was investigating a rotting pumpkin on a cool November day. It was so calm that I was able to do a series from several angles. These photos will be used on the guide page for the genus and, in one case, family Syrphidae. Size estimated.
I believe this is a female, because it appeared to be extruding an ovipositor at times (see linked photo)--please correct me if I'm wrong.
Note added 18 December 2011: See comments below on species ID--thanks, John!

Images of this individual: tag all
Helophilus fasciatus - female Helophilus fasciatus - female Helophilus fasciatus - female Helophilus fasciatus - female Helophilus fasciatus--spurious vein - Helophilus fasciatus - female

Moved from Helophilus.

details on ID?
Thanks for the species ID, John--had always suspected this was fasciatus. Can you give us all some idea what the important characters are? I saw on another image someone mentioned the stripe in the middle of the face, "from eyes to antennae", or something like that. Is that the distinguishing feature on this series?

Black marks
Only two species live in North Carolina. The key for Oklahoma on the genus page or the plate on the Syrphidae of Ontario page will distinguish them. The female of H. fasciatus usually has a T shaped black mark above the antennae. It seems to be somewhat variable but is clear here. The male of fasciatus can be distinguished by the narrow gap between the eyes relative to latifrons.

Nice series, Patrick.
I think you're right on gender. Here's a post where it was expertly determined:

(I'm guessing you've already seen this, but thought the reference might help others.)

No, I had not seen that, thanks. This is a confusing genus, that is for sure. It seems like we should be able to get the species on some more of our photos, but perhaps that is too much to ask!

I'm going to summarize the characters on this guide page for the genus and reference these, and other, photos as appropriate. Comments and corrections are much appreciated.

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