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ID for Small, Black Robber Fly in CA? - Nannocyrtopogon - female

ID for Small, Black Robber Fly in CA? - Nannocyrtopogon - Female
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. elevation, Los Angeles County, California, USA
June 4, 2009
Size: ~7 mm
Yet another asilid rescued from the pool last Summer... (It looks a little odd because its wings were flipped backwards in the water -- but it recovered fine and flew off without difficulty.)

Surrounding habitat is chaparral and mixed oak woodland.

Moved from Robber Flies.

Again, many thanks for the ID, Dr. Fisher! For future reference, is there some anatomical feature I could attempt to photograph that would help differentiate the species found in my area for this genus or is it necessary to have a collected specimen for such determinations?

This is a large genus (26 spp
This is a large genus (26 spp. in Calif., most of them in S. Cal.). The majority of them look quite similar from above, and the best characters are on the fronts of the heads of males. Many species have modified antennae and strange tubercles of their faces -- which they use in courting females (a face to face dance).

Extremely useful information!
I don't have anything but overhead views for this one, but I'll be sure to try and get some decent head shots if I encounter this genus again in the upcoming months. (BTW, I added your comment to the previously blank Info page for Nannocyrtopogon -- hopefully others will find the tip useful as well.)

Nannocyrtopogon sp. (there ar
Nannocyrtopogon sp. (there are many in your area) -- female.

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