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Photo#850123
small dark hoverfly with wings covering abdomen - possibly Melanostoma mellinum? - Platycheirus obscurus - male

small dark hoverfly with wings covering abdomen - possibly Melanostoma mellinum? - Platycheirus obscurus - Male
Short Hills Provincial Park, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
September 18, 2013
Size: ~8mm
Observed foraging on white wood aster in a deciduous(sugar maple, oak, beech) forest at 1pm. I could not get a clear view of the abdominal patterns as the wings always covered it, although there are hints of a faint yellow pattern. The photos are not great quality, but I would appreciate ID help before they are "frassed".

I tried using the CJAI Key to the Genera of Nearctic Syrphidae and I came up with several possibilities, including Melanostoma mellinum (best fit), Chalcosyrphus nemorum, Xylota sp, or Platycheirus sp., but due to the poor photos, I could be off.

Images of this individual: tag all
small dark hoverfly with wings covering abdomen - possibly Melanostoma mellinum? - Platycheirus obscurus - male small dark hoverfly with wings covering abdomen - possibly Melanostoma mellinum? - Platycheirus obscurus - male small dark hoverfly with wings covering abdomen - possibly Melanostoma mellinum? - Platycheirus obscurus - male

Moved
Moved from Syrphid Flies.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Tough!
Elongated, pointy face doesn't appear on Melanosoma, Platycheirus, Chalcosyrphus, or Xylota. Also, the latter two have different legs, both with enlarged rear femur. I wish I could be more helpful and encouraging.

Have you checked the Ontario field guide?
http://www.canacoll.org/Diptera/Staff/Skevington/Syrphidae/speciespages.htm

 
Thanks...
I did check the ON field guide, which is a great resource but it's missing 1/4 of the genera. And of course, this individual did not want to show me it's abdomen, even when I saw it later in the day and on another day! I have a feeling having the wings always overlap on its back is a characteristic, but it doesn't help in the keys.

Thanks for helping with the corrections - knowing what is is *not* helps too :)

 
Glad to be of some assistance. WIsh I could have helped more.
If I get a brainstorm, I'll be back.

 
Platycheirus obscurus
I sent the photos to Jeff Skevington who passed them along to Andrew Young, who was able to identify it. Turns out that this is a male Platycheirus obscurus.

 
Wonderful! Glad you got an ID to species.
.

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