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Bug 6  - Milesia virginiensis

Bug 6 - Milesia virginiensis
Starkville , Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, USA
October 5, 2013

Images of this individual: tag all
Bug 6  - Milesia virginiensis Bug 6  - Milesia virginiensis

Moved from ID Request.

Syrphidae, I think genus Mile
Syrphidae, I think genus Milesia (I thought Somula until I noticed the markings on the thorax)

To be more specific M. virginiensis or M. scutellata - I can't tell which.

Here is a nice paper ("Sympatry of Milesia scutellata Hull and Milesia virginiensis (Drury) Flower Flies at Their Western Range Limits in North America, and the Previously Unknown Juvenile Stages of M. scutellata" that talks about their range overlap in Texas. So I suspect we can't tell them apart by range alone in your case - sorry! It doesn't look like M. bella, and isn't in that species' range.

Species Milesia virginiensis - Yellowjacket Hover Fly

So it does - thank you! I'd
So it does - thank you! I'd been trying to find pictures, and all I found was a source here, which notes that "Milesia scutellata is very similar, and can only be reliably separated from Milesia virginiensis by an expert with a dissecting kit."

Thanks for the pointer!

...or an amateur with a good eyes and visual discrimination.
A lot of wrong info is generated in the guise of science. Look outside the box that couplets put you into. (Geez, I'm sounding like a buggy Yoda.) We have to start opening our eyes and using our minds more.

Example: Can you spot - that's a clue - the difference between Toxomerus marginatus and the other species within that genus with a single, simple field mark? It can be done, but you'll never find it in a key.

Point well made! I've been s
Point well made! I've been struggling with this with some of the harder bumblebees - there's enough variation within some species to make one want to tear one's hair out. On the other hand, I've had people send me pictures of "this bumblebee has some white on it, I think it's Bombus occidentalis!" and I go "if the rear is shining white, then it might be; otherwise, probably not."

Is this the wonderful margin of Toxomerus marginatus? I'm actually quite impressed with how well that one field mark shows up in the photos here!


I didn't have the margin in mind, but would suspect it's true.
There is a small dot near the end of the abdomen, the "spot" I obliquely referenced.

The more you're around this site, the more you'll be astonished as to what people think look the same.

Aha! I missed it. Not too s
Aha! I missed it. Not too surprising that I did. Thanks for the tip!

And, oh boy. I'm honestly just amazed we can group things into somewhat consistent species, genera, families, etc. at all. Birds and even flowering plants are so much easier!

I took some imagines and made
I took some imagines and made a key to the US Milesia, they are relatively easy to distinguish if you know the characters:

Excellent, as always. Thanks, Martin.
Guess we can put away the dissecting kit and microscope, at least for now.

*laughs* Wonderful - thank y
*laughs* Wonderful - thank you!

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