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Photo#9903
Mexican Cactus Fly - Copestylum mexicanum

Mexican Cactus Fly - Copestylum mexicanum
Jupiter Ridge Natural Area, Florida, USA
July 10, 2004
This was a BIG fly, almost 2 cm in length. I'm not sure if it is a Horse Fly, it's so robust in shape. I don't know much about flies, so any help would great:)

Syrphid
My guess would be a species of Copestylum, see http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/Diptera/syrphid/copest.htm.

Paul

http://www.diptera.info

 
C. mexicana
This thing apparently breeds in decaying cacti. I found one in Cincinnati once, way outside its normal southerly range, perhaps having come in on a nursery shipment. The previous name was Volucella mexicana, and older books still label it as such.

 
Cacti present
This makes sense Eric,

There are prckly pear cacti in the scrubbier areas of Jupiter Ridge (in fact not far from where this photo was taken)...so that would explain it:)

 
Yeah, Volucella...
When I saw the picture Volucella was my first thought but checking the Manual of Nearctic Diptera I found there was only one species (possible introduced from Europe because we have it here as well), but there were also two related genera. Of these, Copestylum was the most likely option. According to the Manual the most comprehensive literature available for identification (by Curran) still treated it under Volucella.

Paul

http://www.diptera.info

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