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Photo#789448
Syrphidae - what species? - Eupeodes volucris - Eupeodes volucris - male

Syrphidae - what species? - Eupeodes volucris - Eupeodes volucris - Male
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA
June 19, 2013
Size: 6 mm
My first attempt was to look at the Eristalini, to no avail. I see the narrowed first abdominal segment and reflective dorsal thorax in other tribes of Eristalinae, but not that one. So I throw this one to an expert for a better conclusion. Obviously the flower - my paperwork - is of no help here. Also, look closely and you'll see my reflection with camera on the thorax. Thanks in advance.

Moved
Moved from Syrphid Flies.

Eupeodes volucris - Bird Hover Fly, a Male

 
Thanks for the ID on this.
Thanks for the ID on this.

 
My pleasure, Leland.
Oh, and do encourage the insects to smile, especially those that are mating.

Moved for expert attention & cropped
Moved from ID Request.

for the future: please make sure to crop down just to the bug any images posted for identification purposes like i did here for you

 
Thanks. I'm trying to avoid l
Thanks. I'm trying to avoid loss of resolution and also inclusion of context to some degree. On this context is not important, but on others, the flowers or plants or other substrate is part of the information, no?

 
cropping has no effect on resolution; context rarely relevant
For ID purposes, anatomical details are way more important; don't worry about context unless the bug is a non-flying herbivore. Specialized pollinators (such as many bee species) are a notable exception. Otherwise, whatever can fly, can land, rest, bask, or perch anywhere.
From experience (i mostly deal with beetles and Heteroptera), crisp photos using uniform light-colored background [say, paper] are by far the best to work with.
Ballpark 'identification helpfulness' of context elements present in the frame is perhaps one case per 1000 IDs; the percentage of cases where context impedes identification is orders of magnitude higher. Context is mostly clutter.
Host plant/fungus identity may provides critical evidence for identification of non-flying stages or of insects that are obviously colonizing the plant --say, are laying eggs or being present in great numbers, incl. in copula. In such cases it is best to simply indicate the name of the plant in the Remarks, if known; if unknown, post photos of the plant here for identification (no need for the bug to be present on such photos: plant ID and bug ID are entirely separate tasks). Substrata like shore gravel/sand, debris, rotten wood, & the like do not add any relevant evidence.
Many believe that including flowers increases aesthetic value of the photo; that may be the case, but that's it, as far as added value is concerned. Again, providing visual evidence for identification and producing a beautiful piece of photography are two very different, and rarely compatible, pursuits. Think of images intended for ID purposes as of passport photos. The less fancy, the better.
So, for non-flying insects, note food plant identity; for flying ones, don't bother.

 
Thanks. Given current US pass
Thanks. Given current US passport photo practices, I'll ask the bugs to smile if they want.

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