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Wasp-Mimic Fly? - Physoconops brachyrhynchus

Wasp-Mimic Fly? - Physoconops brachyrhynchus
Beavercreek, Greene County, Ohio, USA
July 23, 2012
Is this a wasp-mimic fly? Photographed on flower panicle of Clethra alnifolia. Unfortunately it did not appreciate me stalking it, so I have no better photograph.

Just noticed this is a female can barely make out the theca under the abdomen, held pointing forward and nearly parallel to it.

Thank you
for the ID, Aaron, and especially for the reasons for the ID.

Upon further thought & scrutiny of the image...
...I now think the narrow black shape I'm seeing, barely peeking out under the middle segments of the abdomen, is more likely something other than a theca (i.e. maybe the tarsi of the right hind leg, beyond where the tibia passes under the abdomen?)

A major reason for my "re"-thinking of this here is that P. brachyrhynchus is characterized as having a relatively small theca...and if that narrow black "strip" under the abdomen were indeed the theca, than this individual would have a fairly large theca! So, since other characters here strongly indicate brachyrhynchus, I realized my interpretation of that "narrow black strip" as the theca was most likely wrong.

Thus, I'm rescinding my assessment that this is a female ;-) Which, unfortunately, means we have no BugGuide images of any females for this species yet...darn! (The reason I noticed my error just now is that I was looking to study nuances of theca size in brachyrhynchus...beyond what's written in the literature.)

[Oh well, guess that's the way "science"...or more generally learning...takes place. Make an observation, formulate a hypothesis, scrutinize and "sleep on it" for a while...and if you find things don't really add up then revisit, rethink, refine...and hopefully correct errors and incrementally improve your understanding. Then repeat! ;-]

Moved from Subgenus Pachyconops.

The laterally pale, medially darker frons and vertex; lack of a distinct complete pollinose postvertical stripe (i.e. along upper hind edge of head); subequal 2nd & 3rd antennal segments; dark posterior cell; hyaline 1st basal cell; overall black of the thorax, with a strong white pleural pollinose stripe visible at the left; and black of the abdominal segments, with beige distal bands...all point to the "black form" of P. brachyrhynchus. See comment with post below for more details:

Moved from Physoconops.

Moved from Conopinae.

Moved from Thick-headed Flies.

Moved from ID Request.

Family Conopidae - Thick-headed Flies

Thank you
for the ID, Matt. Looks like possibly Physoconops or Physocephala? Looking "ahead" in the photo folders I have yet to go through from last summer, it does appear that I have some more photos of similar appearing individuals. If I find better photos I'll post them and frass this one.