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Bombyllidae 1 - maybe Bombylius albicapillus? - Bombylius

Bombyllidae 1 - maybe Bombylius albicapillus? - Bombylius
Colockum Research Unit, Chelan County, Washington, USA
May 19, 2012
Collected on an arid hillside, midday. Let me know if other angles would help!

Images of this individual: tag all
Bombyllidae 1 - maybe Bombylius albicapillus? - Bombylius Bombyllidae 1 - Bombylius Bombyllidae 1 - Bombylius

Moved from Bee Flies.

Looks a lot like the illustration of Bombylius pygmaeus in the bee fly chapter of Manual of Nearctic Diptera, and wing and leg characters seem consistent with the genus.

Bombylius sp., consider Bombylius albicapillus
I shot one very similar, but never got it to species.

It does look a lot like the p
It does look a lot like the pygmaeus photos here in BG. I hadn't realized these guys are parasitoids on solitary bees... bummer! (though they're such good pollinators too - I've seen a lot of what look like Bombylius on e.g. Collomia in the field)


Revised in 1980. You may be able to find a copy in an entomology library, or get your department to pay the $70 or so to have one flown in from Germany.

Hall, J.C., and N.L. Evenhuis. Family Bombyliidae. pp. 1-96 In Griffiths, G.C.D., Ed., Flies of the Nearctic region. Vol V, pt 13, no 1. E Schweizerbart, Stuttgart.

Shockingly, we have a very fe
Shockingly, we have a very few volumes of that series and V.13 is one of them! That'll give me something to do tonight while my reactions are running - thanks!

Separate numbers
Each "volume" of the series is broken into several "numbers" issued separately. Don't get too excited until you find the page range you need. Unless you're excited to read about other groups of bee flies, which you probably should be if you're going to be collecting them.

Only 4-5 "volumes" were ever printed, with nonconsecutive numbering.

Turns out we have multiples:
Turns out we have multiples: volume V part 13 #1-6, volume VI part 6 #1, volume VIII part 2 #1-6, and something in volume II. Also a book about Syrphidae in German. And (1) and other good resources cited here.

Anyways - I'll stop cluttering up this page with less relevant chatter and go read that key!

Great- yes, subfamily Bombyliinae for starters.

Not pygmaeus unless I'm mista
Not pygmaeus unless I'm mistaken - the key in the source you provided mentions a white crossband on the scutellum (as opposed to white spots), which I'm not seeing on this guy - but I am seeing the referenced spots. The spot present on R2+3 gives albicapillus as opposed to heximaculatus.

I could suspect wear on the scutellum, but I packed this little guy in a kimwipe pretty quickly, and don't recall seeing the white stripe while it was still flying, so I'm pretty sure that's not an issue. Plus we're apparently out of range for pygmaeus as well, but definitely in range for albicapillus.

We're sadly missing the last few pages of the key in the back of the book, but fortunately this fly doesn't fall in that set!

Going to move this to genus in case I'm wrong...

Check part 2
Check the first pages of part 2 if you seem to be missing the last pages of part 1. In the series, breaks in bound volumes do not correspond to breaks in subject matter. If the publisher had 98 pages of material the book might have 96 pages (for convenience of printing) with 2 pages postponed until the next book. Keys are especially likely to be split across two books because Griffiths liked to have them at the end of a chapter.

Good to know for the future (
Good to know for the future (and for future flies)! The last couplets of the key in this case split off of a very early character, fortunately, but I will definitely keep that in mind. I was a bit surprised at the end-of-chapter setup, but it does make sense - easy to find.

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