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Photo#363141
ID for (another) Small, Red Robber Fly in California? - Parataracticus wyliei - male

ID for (another) Small, Red Robber Fly in California? - Parataracticus wyliei - Male
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. elevation, Los Angeles County, California, USA
July 10, 2009
Another pool rescue from last summer... I just had these images identified by Eric Fisher as Parataracticus wyliei. I'm curious as to whether this is the same species, or perhaps a different species in the same genus? In general appearance, they are very similar-looking, but with a few notable differences on this one:

1) Wing venation appears different.

2) This one has several white dashes on the abdomen, instead of spots.

3) This one has white halteres, instead of light yellow.

Please note that I have many other images, I just haven't prepped them for submission yet. Let me know if they are needed for an ID.

Surrounding habitat is chaparral and mixed oak woodland.

Moved
Moved from Parataracticus.

Moved
Moved from Robber Flies.

Also a Parataracticus wyliei
Also a Parataracticus wyliei male. This specimen has more typical coloration than the other one I identified earlier today.

 
Thanks, Eric.
I have a few other specimens rescued on different days and they resemble this one, which would support the information you've provided that this is the more typical coloration. Interesting to know there is that much variation within the same species... So, are the short and incomplete (broken?) veins in the wings of the other one just normal variation or is that due to some sort of physical damage?

 
Harsi, the wing anomalies (br
Harsi, the wing anomalies (broken veins) are pretty common in nature. The differences in abdominal and scutellum markings are potentially more important, as they resemble those of another sp. (rubidus) from central Calif. A third sp. with a red abdomen (cuyamus -- from Ventura Co.) is also a possibility. These three spp. are all disjunct (geographically separate), so I'm assuming the Webb Canyon specimens are all the same L.A. Co. sp.-- wyliei. Best I can do from photos.

 
Really appreciate the explanation!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. The information regarding the specific locality of similar species in the genus was also quite fascinating. It would be quite a stretch to imagine that either of the other two species you mentioned could be considered a viable possibility given their presumed remoteness from my location. I do not collect live specimens, but I do occasionally have insects that do not revive after being rescued from the pool and they are generally fairly well-preserved. As I rescued several examples of this species last year, perhaps there will be the opportunity for me to collect one for examination later this year...

 
You're most welcome Harsi! If
You're most welcome Harsi! If more specimens of the 'spotted' abdomen one turn up, it would be interesting to examine any -- to see if it is really something different, rather than a variation. Photo #363141 (with the 'striped' abdomen) is certainly the typical pattern for P. wyliei.

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