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Physocephala texana - Physoconops floridanus - female

Physocephala texana - Physoconops floridanus - Female
Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, USA
September 15, 2013
Sorry about the fuzzy shot; this was one elusive little beast. This was on Monarda punctata, spotted beebalm.


Moved from Physoconops.

Moved from Physocephala floridana.

David, note that Lee referred this to Physoconops floridanus rather than Physocephala floridana. Those two names are easy to confuse! (I've done it too.)

There's no guide page yet for the species Physoconops I'm moving the post to the appropriate genus page for now.

Thanks and sorry
I suspect that since I didn't see a Physoconops floridana page I assumed that I'd misremembered the name and that the genus must be Physocephala.


By location this cannot be Physocephala texana:
Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 1957. Vol. #50, #3, pg. 213 P. texana by Camras:
“This species has not otherwise been found in the Southeastern United States, so the locality Georgia, may be an error. RANGE: Quebec, Ontario, New York, Michigan, Indiana, and Texas, west to British Columbia and California. Mexico.”

By color of area above antenna bases or ‘frons’ or ‘front’ this cannot be Physocephala texana:
Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 1877-1882. Vol. 4, pg. 338 as Conops texana by Williston – “Male. Face and front yellow...”
Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 1877-1882. Vol. 4, pg. 339 as Conops affinis by Williston – “Male and female: Front either wholly yellow, or with the vertex rather more reddish...”
Transactions of the California Academy of Sciences 4th Series, 1927. Vol. 16, pp. 580 to 583 as Physocephala humeralis; P. h. simulans; Physocephala aurifacies, P. buccalis by Van Duzee – “Female: Length 15 mm.; of wing 9 mm. Face, front, a large spot on cheeks, halteres and broad base of all tibiae, yellow...”
Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 1957. Vol. #50, #3, pg. 218 keys by Camras – “Front entirely or partly yellow or reddish...”
Entomological News, 1996. Vol. 107, pg. 110-111 – keys by Camras – “Frons mainly or entirely pale...”

The typical raised area above antenna bases, large claws (pulvilli), large theca and extensive shading in wings indicate this is a Physoconops female. The slight indent on mid hind eye margin and enormous theca extending from abdominal segment 5 would suggest Physoconops floridanus:
Insecta Mundi, 2007, #0007 Apr., pg. 3 - Keys by Camras
1. Facial grooves dark, may be obscured by light pollen; frons mainly dark; female theca distinctly longer than height of its tergite, black posterior area distinctly longer than wide ...P. floridanus Camras

I'll try to find it again, catch it, and get a better shot, as I remember seeing what was probably that another day when I didn't have my camera. You sound sure enough that I'm going to move it unless you think otherwise. I didn't think that it looked quite like texana, but under Remarks it mentioned that it was an extremely variable species and I am definitely no dipterist.

Moved from ID Request.

Right - Physocephala texana…
The reddish coloration suggests this species in your area.

See reference here.

for the ID

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