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unknown fly on Erigeron sp. - Trupanea actinobola

unknown fly on Erigeron sp. - Trupanea actinobola
Conway, Horry County, South Carolina, USA
April 17, 2009
Size: tiny
found this afternoon on first bloom of this plant. appreciate any help/suggestions. ;)

Moved from Trupanea. Based partially on range. There's a similar Western species that needs head profile to distinguish reliably.

Fruit Fly...
You'll need to wait for an expert to confirm, but this is possibly a member of the genus Trupanea. Here's an example:

However, it could also be a member of the genus Tephritis, as I gather that they can be quite similar in appearance.

Again, please wait for someone with more fly expertise to confirm!

i'm sure Harsi is right on!
she's good, trust me.

Not an expert, but 90% sure it's Trupanea
Possibly T. signata, but I'm totally unsure of range.

I think this is the same fly, also shot on composite:

fly ID
thanks, Ron! not possessing more than a base knowledge of flies, i have to ask what about the green eyes? ;)

I haven't a clue.
I sense that I've seen them both ways. The thing to look at here is the wing pattern.

fruit fly ID
well, i've had just about zero luck finding any sort of range/distribution info. even an image search on google was a bust. looks like you Cali folks know more about your bugs than the rest of us do about ours. this is the sort of thing that reminds me why i study birds... ;)

thanks for the help!

Ron is definitely no slouch when it comes to experience with fruit flies, so with his added vote for Trupanea, I feel more confident. However, I am limited (as he is) by having more experience with west coast species. I can tell you that there is at least one other Trupanea image in the guide from South Carolina, and that one was identified by Martin Hauser (who you can definitely trust!). You'd probably be safe moving your image to the genus level, or you can leave it in ID Request for awhile longer and see if anyone else has more to add.

from what i've seen on bugguide, i'm comfortable with Trupanea. if it's ok, i'd like to leave it in ID request for a day or two and see if anyone else offers anything. i'm going to send a cpl images to some folks and see what they think, too. thanks again for the help! i may have to learn something about some of these other critters in spite of myself. ;)

I think that's the best way to go.

I find birds very confusing. We Californians have access to an excellent collection of wing pattern illustrations, but even these aren't foolproof. (I'm not sure where my version came from, but I am missing some odd bits.)

Oddly enough, dragonflies are much like birds in that their appearance varies by age and by sex. I find them confusing, too.

re: funny!
for me, birds, butterflies and dragons are fun. birds often help by giving audio clues, and some of the less familiar species are habitat specialists, which also helps; you're not likely to find a Dipper in a cornfield. damselflies can be a bit frustrating for me, esp. when you have to have one in hand to look at anatomical features under magnification. birds are much easier to handle than damselflies. i started looking at moths last year, and i may be getting old enough that i don't need to have that much fun anymore. talk about cryptic. thanks again for the help, all of you folks are great! ;)

fly ID
thanks, Harsi! i'm not a fly guy, so you gave me a place to start, and i appreciate that. hopefully, some others will weigh in. gotta luv a mystery... ;)

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