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Resaca Vieja syrphid - Ocyptamus

Resaca Vieja syrphid - Ocyptamus
World Birding Center at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
October 10, 2008
Encountered this critter while seeking Aeshnid dragonflies along the Resaca Vieja Trail last October. Had seen this sort many times but never had one hold still for photos as cooperatively as this individual did. Seems most like an Ocypamus but not quite an exact match...

Images of this individual: tag all
Resaca Vieja syrphid - Ocyptamus Resaca Vieja syrphid, side view - Ocyptamus



This is Ocyptamus dimidiatus
I looked at determined specimens of Ocyptamus cylindricus and Ocyptamus dimidiatus. This is not Ocyptamus cylindricus which is very similar to Ocyptamus fuscipennis but instead has a completely metallic abodomen. This is actually Ocyptamus dimidiatus.

Moved from Syrphini. Thanks for the ID work guys! BugGuide did not have Ocyptamus dimidiatus yet, so I've created a page and tentatively moved these photos under that heading for now. Kevin, Gil mentioned O. antiphates as an alternative possibility to dimidiatus; do you see anything in these photos that tips your opinion toward one of those two species over the other?

Hmm... elongate body and dark
Hmm... elongate body and dark shadows on wings are making me think Ocyptamus. The "Key to the Genera of Nearctic Syrphidae" is also suggesting Orphnabaccha, but BG has no info on them.

The deep notch at the back of the eye should be helpful as well... that's found in Toxomerus, but this doesn't look like Toxomerus. What other genera have it? Can't think of them right now!

Ongoing mystery
Thanks for commenting, I had not thought about this pic in a while. I might have to sign up for an account at, supposedly there are specialists there waiting to ID mystery flies...

Keep us posted! I've been go
Keep us posted! I've been going through the various Syrphidae here on BG and this one is very weird (and beautiful!).

Mmm, for what it's worth, Ocyptamus does seem to have the notch as well. So that supports Ocyptamus.

You know, this fly reminds me
You know, this fly reminds me of this fly:

Now I'm wondering if it's Ocyptamus cylindricus. We only have the one image in the guide, so it may be worth one of us emailing Jeff Skevington to see if he and his student agree...

O. cylindricus!
Here's the reply from Gil Miranda, the student of Jeff Skevington who specializes in this genus: "it is most likely an O. cylindricus (definitely Ocyptamus sensu stricto). The dark pattern on the wings help on the id and if the lighting and angle were just right the bluish metallic reflection would've come out nicely. The femora yellow basally also help to id it. ... and from the records that I have so far for TX, with that habitus, it can only be O. cylindricus."

cylindricus group
Hi all! I helped Joshua with the id before, and as I commented on another O. cylindricus photo, I gave too much weight to the metallic reflection to call it O. cylindricus (the abdomen should be more slender). With that said, the next option would be O. dimidiatus or O. antiphates, but I don't recall such reflections from material from specimens from South America that I have studied. The specimen is definitely from the O. cylindricus group though ;)

Wonderful news - thanks for b
Wonderful news - thanks for both getting an ID and passing along the info! Awesome :^)

Miranda & Skevington
Cannot find an e-mail address for the grad student, Gil Miranda, who is reputedly the world expert on this genus. But have e-mailed Prof. Skevington to see what he says...

FWIW, looks good to me as well.

Neat fly!
It's a male, but that's all I know here. Will wait and watch with you for ID.

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