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Photo#402251
Pupa - Microdon lanceolatus

Pupa - Microdon lanceolatus
Trenton, Cache County, Utah, USA
May 28, 2010
Size: 5x10mm
This creature was found attached to a chunk of wood that formed the top of an ants nest. I kept it to see if it will hatch, but it took a bit of a beating when I tried to break the wood into smaller pieces. Any info on how to care for it would be appreciated.

Images of this individual: tag all
Pupa - Microdon lanceolatus Pupa - Microdon lanceolatus Adult - Microdon lanceolatus Adult - Microdon lanceolatus Adult - Microdon lanceolatus

Moved
Moved from Microdon lanceolatus.
Whoops... sorry about the extra move. The images appeared to still be at genus level, but I guess I needed to click "refresh."

Moved
Moved from Microdon.

What did the ants and their n
What did the ants and their nest look like? Was it a large black carpenter ant nest in a log or was it a red and black ant in a mound of twigs? Or was it an ant colony nesting under a chunk of wood?
If you can take photos of the ant, that would really help. You may have found a very rare species of Microdon. You can look for adult Microdon trying to enter similar nests during the next couple of weeks. If you are careful you can take photos of the adult flies mating near the nest. These flies hover close to the ground near the host ants.

 
Dear Dr. Alpert
Motivated in part by this post, though perhaps somewhat tangent...

I just made many major additions to the Microdon info page and was hoping you might get an opportunity to give it a looking over, and let me know if I included any significantly erroneous or misleading information or statements. (Apropos to this post & thread: One thing I did include was encouragement to seek puparium + adult pairings to facilitate species ID, and to try to document & ID host ant info when possible! :-)

 
The ants...
They fall under the third category, nesting under the chunk of wood. One of the ants in question can be seen at the bottom of the second picture. I would guess they are formica. I didn't find any adults mating near the nests, but luckily this one hatched despite only moderate care. I plan on keeping it for another day before I let it loose unless it is worth preserving, please let me know.

 
Great that it emerged! In fac
Great that it emerged! In fact it is worth keeping, because there are not so many pupa - adult associated specimens, so this is always much more worth then just having the larvae or the adult... If Gary does not need it for his study or his collection, the CDFA collection (where I work), would be happy to host this specimen.
Best wishes, Martin

 
Neat
Finding a rarity sure boosts the pride a little bit. I'll be glad to send it to you. I've thought about sending it alive, but I don't know if it would make it. Queen honeybees usually do though. Just let me know where to mail it.

 
Dear Nate, today the Microdon
Dear Nate, today the Microdon arrived and it was alive and running around! So I will try to also take some pictures, and thanks a lot again for your contribution!
Cheers
Martin

 
Great to hear
I mailed it on Monday, I was darn busy and forgot the letter I was going to write along with it. Ha, oh well it would have just told you how I drove around for about a week with the pupa tucked away in the bottom of a cheez-it box and covered with dry grass. A big thanks to you too Martin, I've been bragging about sending a rare fly to California all week. I'll be waiting for it to be updated to species and to find out more about it.

 
Honestly I am still strugglin
Honestly I am still struggling with the species ID, but sooner or later we will get this... but your fly might be traveling further, a friend of mine is studying the relationship between the different Microdon species and so it will travel to the Netherlands and get sequenced... big journey for a small fly... Thanks again

 
Hi Martin :-)
Any progress yet on the ID of this Microdon?

Just to see if I could learn more about the genus, I somewhat naively tried to run it through the keys in Thompson, 1981.
I gave it my best shot, but there were a lot of ambiguities/inconsistencies for me due to limited understanding and experience with the group, as well as inevitable incomplete info from limited images...so I don't think I got any result worth repeating here.

BTW, I've been reading alot about Microdon recently, and was inspired to make a number of major additions to the info page. If you get the opportunity, I'd really appreciate it you could check it over and see if I need to correct any significant errors I may have made.

 
Wow!
...

 
Thanks a lot, you can try mai
Thanks a lot, you can try mailing it alive, it often works. My address is:
Martin Hauser
Senior Insect Biosystematist
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch
3294 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832-1448

Keep on finding these things!

 
Hello Martin
Just wondering how things are going with this fly.

 
Just got emai from Menno, he
Just got emai from Menno, he ID the species as M. lanceolatus!

 
A fine ending.
until the next fly....

 
Well, the fly is in the Nethe
Well, the fly is in the Netherlands with Menno Reemer, who just finished his thesis about the subfamily Microdon (of the world). I will check with him if he has identified the specimens... Sometimes these things take a lot of time until they are identified or published...

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Microdon?
I think it's one of these. I don't have any direct experience with them, but the basic idea with a pupa is to keep it moist enough that it doesn't dry out but not so moist that it gets moldy.

 
Success!
It worked. I most likely would have let it dry out without the instruction. Thanks again. Is it what you expected to see?

 
ah, cool
I'll see what I can do. Thanks

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