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Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male

Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - Male
Muleshoe NWR, Bailey County, Texas, USA
September 19, 2009

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Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella males - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male Proctacanthella - Proctacanthella cacopiloga - male

Moved from Proctacanthella.

Proctacanthella cacopiloga male.
Sorry I'm getting in this late (especially if it started in 2009!). This Proctacanthella is certainly our old friend P. cacopiliga, as it has the characteristic "white pencil of hairs" projecting from the male gonopods--which is the definitive character for identifying this species from other Proctacanthella (whose males lack 'hair pencils'). This character is well shown in Wilcox's diagram of genitalia and in the adjacent image (images #4 & #5) sent in by Steve on 21 Aug.

Thanks Eric!
for the confirmation

Moved from Proctacanthella.

Moved from Robber Flies.

right for the genus and must be robusta or wilcoxi for species.

Proctacanthella wilcoxi description from Bromley 1935
"Total length, 15-20 mm. A light, tawny brown pollinose species closely related to P. cacopiloga Hine from- which it may be distinguished by the structure of the genitalia, lacks the pencil of hairs on the ninth sternite, the anterior crossvein decidedly before the middle of the discal cell, the front femora of the male with white spines below, in addition to the fine white pile. From leucopogon Williston, it may be distinguished by the structure of the genitalia, the anterior crossvein well before the middle of the discal cell, not beyond, and the front femora in the male with white spines below in addition to the fine pile. The females of all three species have white spines on the under sides of the front femora.

MALE-- Pale brown pollinose. Head black, pale yellowish brown pollinose. Mystax, vertical and occipital bristles pale yellow. Palpi and antennae with bIack hairs. Beard white. Thorax brown pollinose, grayish brown on pleura. Pleural hairs and bristles of pronoturn and coxae white. Mesonotum with fine black hairs anteriorly and black bristles posteriorly. Supra-alar bristles straw colored, as are the scutellar hairs and bristles. Wings faintly tinged with brown, nearly hyaline, bases of veins reddish. Halteres very pale reddish yellow. Legs reddish; four anterior femora with a broad black vitta above, posterior femora blackish with base and tip reddish; four anterior tibiae reddish, posterior tibiae reddish with tip and external portion black; tarsal segments reddish basally, black apically. Claws black. Legs with white hairs and some black and some white bristles. The supra-terminal bristles of hind femora black. Front femora with a few white bristles among the fine white hairs below. Abdomen with fine straw colored hairs, the sides and posterior margins of segments
grayish yellow pollinose, dorsal areas of segments 1-6 dark brown. Genitalia reddish. Sternites 6,7,8, and 9 increasingly expanded vertically. The upper forceps with a small pair of hook-like processes at tip; hairs of genitalia straw colored.

FEMALE—Similar, ovipositor piceous."

Proctacanthella robusta description from Wilcox 1965
"Type male, Port Lavaca, Texas, July 24, 1925, Ohio State Univ.
Female: Length 18 mm. Head black, gray pollinose, face and frons with a yellowish tinge. Mystax white, lower 1/3 with about 18 strong bristles, middle 1/3 mostly shorter white hairs. Frons with dense proclinate white hairs laterally and 2-3 black ones: ocellar tubercle with 4-5 black proclinate hairs on each side: occipital bristles largely black: beard and hairs of proboscis white; hairs of palpi black apically, white basally. Antennae black, segments I and 2 with short black hair, segment 1 two times length of 2, segment 3 and style subequal in length to first two. Mesosonotum black, grayish golden brown pollinose, hairs short black with white hairs on humeri and on anterior and lateral margins. Bristles black, 2 presutural, 1 postalar and 3 supraalar; posteriorly with a few long black hairs laterally and in dorsocentral rows. Pleurae and coxae gray pollinose with a golden tinge, hairs white, fore coxae with dense fringe of white bristles, middle with fewer and hind with only 3-4. Scutellum gray pollinose with about 16 long black and 16 long white bristles; at middle basally a few erect hairs, mostly black. Abdomen black, gray pollinose on sides and thinly brownish dorsally. First segment long white-haired with 5-6 yellowish lateral bristles, segment 2 with medium length white hairs and a few black at middle, hairs shorter on remaining segments, 3-5 with broad dorsal base black-haired, 6-7 with only dorsal line black-haired. Ovipositor shining dark brown with reddish cast, sparse fine hairs white, six spines on either side apically, sternite 9 with short sharp spines. Legs black, base and apex of femora, basal four fifths of fore and middle tibiae and basal one third of hind tibiae, yellowish red. Hairs short, sparse, largely white on femora and fore tibiae, otherwise largely black. Bristles of forelegs and middle femora largely white, remainder largely black. Claws black, narrowly reddish basally, empodia and pulvilli light brown. Halteres light brown. Wing hyaline, veins dark brown. anterior crossvein at 6/ 11 length of discal cell."

More from Wilcox 1965:
"The color of the legs varies considerably, especially in cacopiloga and leucopogon, ranginq from nearly wholly black to wholly yellowish. In wilcoxi. the femora are circled with a black ring, incomplete on the fore femora in some specimens, the black increasing in extent on the middle and hind ones. In exquisita the anterior surface of the femora is black and the posterior yellowish. In tolandi, the leg are wholly yellowish."

The Wilcox 1965 key to Proctacanthella has lateral drawings of male genitalia! "Most difficulty in separating the species will be experienced with female specimens as the male genitalia are quite distinctive."
The pencil hairs may be distinctive for P. cacopiloga, but I'm not sure. There are some conflicting features with the various descriptions and this specimen. Let me know what you think.

I figured it had to be one of those two based on the state list on your website. BTW - I use those all of the time; they are a great resource!

From the
gestalt of the side view of the terminus this seems to be wilcoxi. Just from the sternite arrangement. Can you blow up the lateral terminus shot? Will link this to Eric.

Done. I'm leaning toward a color variant of P. cacopiloga
Because of the pencil hairs on the genitalia. Thanks for asking for Eric's help!

Terminal looks like caco I agree.

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