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Photo#5419
Hornet Flower Fly? - Milesia virginiensis - female

Hornet Flower Fly? - Milesia virginiensis - Female
Auburn, Alabama, USA
July 30, 2004
I believe this fly is a hornet flower fly in that it appears to be very close to the image found on this website at http://www.bugguide.net/node/view/2839/bgimage
However, I note the differences in the abdominal markings. This particular specimen has three orange "triangles" in the central black abdominal band. Is this just typical biological variation or could this represent sexual differences?

Looks like Milesia, possibilities
Sure looks like genus Milesia. I see the differences from my photos as you mention, very interesting. I thought it might be the other eastern species in the genus, M. scutellata, but your photo does not match the description and key in Syrphidae of Oklahoma. I think it must be M. virginiensis, just some variation in banding pattern (?). Could be a regional difference. I am sure not an expert, though, I just happened to have lucked onto some illustrations of M. virginiensis after taking the photos.
Here are my photos, for reference:



Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

 
Milesia
M. virginiensis is the only North American species in the genus as far as I know.

 
Milesia species
Nearctica.com lists: bella, scutellata, and virginiensis. M. scutellata and virginiensis are listed in Syrphidae of Oklahoma. M. scutelllata is just listed from a couple of counties (Latimer, Pushmataha), which are in the southeast of that state. (I'm from Oklahoma, but had to look them up, I am ashamed to say.)
Photo of M. scutellata--does not give locality. Does not look like the Milesia in the photo.

For what this is all worth--Internet references, and not any personal knowledge of my own.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

 
Looks like Milesia, possibilities
Patrick, thanks for your photos and comments. I agree that it must be M. virginiensis but still unsure about banding pattern variations. Perhaps someone will clarify this for us.

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