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Santa Ana Saropogon - Saropogon hypomelas - female

Santa Ana Saropogon - Saropogon hypomelas - Female
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
July 19, 2009
I did not see many butterflies on this count, mainly because I decided to hike the Jaguarundi Trail, which is usually very productive, but this time was drought-ridden and nearly butterfly-less. However, along one of the connecting trails en route to Jaguarundi, I came across this distinctive critter. Managed to take fantastic photos with my new Elph (birthday present from my wife Airlie). The fly looks like one I photographed several years ago at La Sal del Rey, which some expert (maybe Riley Nelson or Neal Evenhuis?) ID'd for me to this genus. It does match the overall morphology but is very different in coloration than either of the two species currently on the Guide...

Images of this individual: tag all
Santa Ana Saropogon - Saropogon hypomelas - female Santa Ana Saropogon - Saropogon hypomelas - female Santa Ana Saropogon head - Saropogon hypomelas - female

Moved from Saropogon.

Great looking
Thing. It is not abbreviatus (short black abdomen, or red in females), coquillettii (slender red abdomen), pritchardi (uniformly red legs), birdi (legs red with black upper femora), combustus (black antenna) or fletcheri (legs all reddish) or solus (legs pale reddish yellow). Hypomelas and nitidus have black antenna.

Still leaves dispar, sculleni (name to change). Will have to chase descriptions on these. Dr. Fisher may know it or can eliminate others.

Found paper and best guess appears to be the sculleni/laparoides that Bromley was not sure about as far as separation. Older name laparoides will probably apply.

This is a female of Saropogon
This is a female of Saropogon hypomelas (a large species, about 25mm in length). Antennae of male hypomelas are dark reddish-brown; females have paler, yellowish-red antennae.