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Physoconops - female

Physoconops - Female
Hereford, W of Hwy. 92, lower Ash Canyon, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
September 18, 2014
Facial area and cheeks rather uniform gray; first and second antennal segments approximately equal length.

Images of this individual: tag all
Physoconops - female Physoconops - female Physoconops - female Physoconops - female

Cheek Spot
The female here seems to lack the dark (blackish) cheek spot, which is unmistakably present in the male of the companion post below:

But the viewing angle for seeing the cheek spot can be tricky. Sometimes the subtle curvature of the rear-lower portion of the cheek can be such that an oblique frontal view (like the one in the shot above)...though seeming to expose the entire cheek to view...actually has the lower-rear part of the cheek obscured. The ideal viewing angle for checking the cheek spot is usually a "straight-on" transverse profile, taken from slightly below. But...all that looks like you did get most the female's right cheek in this image, and no obvious dark spot is visible. (Although, curiously, there's a bit of dark on the opposite side of the face in the parafacial area...perhaps that's a flash artifact shadow? It seems there's no such spot symmetrically matching it on the fly's right parafacial.)

If the two posts are indeed male and female of the same species (and the dark cheek mark isn't "present but obscured" here), then that would be very surprising...since the cheek spot character has been thought to be a stable, dependable diagnostic of species discrimination in Conopinae for quite a while, and its presence or absence is usually the same for males and females of a given species.

Moved from Conopinae.

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