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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
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Fly - Zelia vertebrata - male

Fly - Zelia vertebrata - Male
Illinois, USA
August 14, 2004
Can anybody ID this fly? Picture was taken in woods.

Moved from Zelia.

Tachnidae: Zelia--compare Z. vertebrata
This is a Tachnid fly, genus Zelia, perhaps Z. vertebrata. I had seen a photo of Z. vertebrata on the web and was so impressed by the strangeness, I wrote a guide page for the genus. Oklahoma Wild Things has a photo of Z. vertebrata, and this appears to be a very good match for your photo, so perhaps that is what you have. At least the genus (Zelia) seems pretty certain.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

posted comment on wrong page :-)

Looked familiar
I found a similar one awhile back:

If I recall it seemed relatively large (larger than a housefly) and was certainly distinctive. Might be something different but definitely similarly marked.

probably Z. vertebrata, I feel
That's got to be the same thing, Zelia vertebrata, or a very similar species. The markings and abdominal hairs are distinctive, I feel. It is also pretty common in the NCSU collection, with 18 pinned--most common member of the genus in the collection. Found in Oklahoma, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina--has the distribution of a widespread eastern deciduous forest species. That's my gut feeling, anyway, for what that's worth.
Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina