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Montosa Cyn Bee Fly from AZ Gathering - Hemipenthes lepidota - male

Montosa Cyn Bee Fly from AZ Gathering - Hemipenthes lepidota - Male
Montosa Canyon Road, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 26, 2013
This is a fairly distinctive anthracine bee fly: with its two white lateral stripes on the thorax; its two white, three fulvous, and five+ black abdominal bands; and its relatively thin, 3-toothed pattern of infuscation along the leading edge of the wing.

The darkened pattern of the anterior edge of the wings immediately made me think of Hemipenthes, and this keyed readily to that genus in the MND(1). Then, going through the recent treatment of Hemipenthes in Ávalos-Hernández (2009), I was led clearly to H. lepidota. The only thing that caused pause was Ávalos-Hernández introductory description of the genus, where he states:

      "anterior tibiae smooth, without bristles or with just a single row of black bristles on postero-ventral surface"

Two rows of bristles seem to be clear on the left anterior tibia in the full-size version of the image above. However the terminal couplet (60) of the key sequence for this specimen in the MND(1) states:

      "Fore tibia almost always with easily seen dark bristles, wing half black or more in both sexes....Hemipenthes"

It doesn't mention only a single row of bristles on the fore tibeae. And reading the detailed species description on pg. 28 of Ávalos-Hernández (2009), I found it simply stated "tibiae with black bristles", without specifying number of rows (though one should probably assume that the generic description details are understood to apply to species, unless stated otherwise). Other than the two rows of fore-tibial bristles here, the description of H. lepidota in Ávalos-Hernández (2009) is an excellent match, and indicates that this is a male (eyes separated by little more than width of ocellar triangle). I also checked Osten Saken's 1887 description (see here) which agreed well. Finally, this individual is in excellent agreement with many of the currently ID'd posts under H. lepidota.

So despite Ávalos-Hernández statement that the fore-tibiae of Hemipenthes are either bare or with one row of bristles, I'm fairly confident this is H. lepidota.

I Want To Mark This As
One of my FAVORITES !!!

What a terrific shot of this Bee Fly.

Thanks, Jon
Bee flies are pretty neat! :-)


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