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Syrphidae: Eristalis? - Eristalis anthophorina

Syrphidae: Eristalis? - Eristalis anthophorina
Fisher, Polk County, Minnesota, USA
April 27, 2012
Size: Length ~ 1 cm
I'm hoping there may be enough detail in these two images to identify the species. Thanks! PS: Below I show a similar specimen photographed at the same location last Fall.

Images of this individual: tag all
Syrphidae: Eristalis? - Eristalis anthophorina Syrphidae: Eristalis? - Eristalis anthophorina


Thanks, Martin!
Thank you for identifying this specimen! ;-)

Honestly, I am not 100$% sure
Honestly, I am not 100$% sure with this, but there are very few "bee like" Eristalis... but this one looks more compact than the others, so the ID might change in future... but it is a very cool fly for sure...

Hi Martin!
I imagine that the species diversity for this genus at our latitude is a bit sparse, and so the process of deciding what a specimen 'is not' is a bit easier than it would be than at a latitude ten degrees south of the Canadian border. I am always amazed that specialists, like yourself, can find enough phenotypic information from a photograph or two to nail the genus and get at a reasonable guess for a species. This seems much easier to do with some taxa (e.g., beetles) than for others (e.g., flies). I've been getting acquainted with our local moths, and that experience has been quite a humbling experience. The diversity of moth species is simply astounding, and being smack-dab between eastern and western distributions makes the identification of some species enormously complicated. What I do like about going afield here on the North Dakota-Minnesota border is that I feel a little like what a 19th century naturalist must have felt like. I stumble into new insect species--new for me!--each week of the summer. Lots to learn! Thanks to you, and other specialists like you, I can learn a bit more about my own backyard, and about organisms that are not yet incorporated into the best-selling field guides! has really changed the way in which I see the natural world. Thanks for contributing your time and talents to this group/forum. Let me know if I can collect any specimens for you. I plan to be in-the-field most of the summer (2013).

Hi Carl, I checked again, an
Hi Carl,
I checked again, and there are only 4 species of the "bee" type in Eristalis, 2 of them have orange hind tarsi. That leaves anthophorina and fratercula, and fratercula is more northern, so I am pretty sure now about my identification... Syrphids are always considered an "easy" group to identify, but they are really not! And the literature is not very good or comprehensive, so I am always learning a lot myself. And some groups you can not ID from the picture at all... The Syrphus/Eupeodes like flies are nearly impossible to get to genus without having the specimen... So I am always glad if people send me specimens, especially when you have a bit experience and you know what is common and what not. There are not many Entomologist in your region and therefore it is very important to investigate the fauna up there. I am always willing to ID pinned specimens, they are much easier to identify! Have a great 2013 season!

Hi Martin!
I looked back at syrphids I've photographed the last three summers, in North Dakota and Minnesota, and found these nine genera: Eristalis, Helophilus, Mallota, Ocyptamus, Pyrophaena, Sercomyia, Somula, Syrphus, and Toxomerus. I'll try to collect and pin examples of these in the hope that some of them may be keyed to the species level. I'll sneak-a-peek at the collection of syrphids on my next visit to NDSU (when I have my monthly chat with Jerry Fauske about our local moth fauna). Thanks for taking the time to correspond. I appreciate that. Best wishes. --carl

Moved from Eristalis.

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