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It might be a Tachinid e.g. Phania funesta, though I'm not sure if the spots on the abdomen quite fit that species.
I think the "spots" on the abdomen are just light reflections, this one is a very "shiny" species.
Tachinid Recording Scheme
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I'm sure you're right there, certainly that genus surely. Won't you revise this id?
latest pics and diptera videos
OK- done. I think this is worth pursuing. Ph. funesta is a parasite of bugs. If you can reliably identify the fly and also pick up different species of bug with Tachinid eggs on them, you have the basis of a crowd-sourcing exercise.
Grant I put your id suggestion to Syrphus as I'm fairly sure these two are the same. So some more notes: http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/263002
On our patch, the bugs that I have seen carrying Tachinid eggs are, so far, the Parent Bug, Birch Shieldbug and the Hawthorn Shieldbug. Without checking back through the archives, I am pretty sure that I have never seen an egg on the Green Shieldbug and the squash bug, Coreus marginatus, though these species occur in, or nearly in, the same location. Perhaps they are resistant to Tachinids.
Or perhaps the Bugs are being parasitised by different Tachinds....
Species like Phasia hemiptera and Phania here are species that lay eggs internally in the host, the females have specialy adapted ovipisitors and "piercers" to get the egg into the body. Other species such as Subclytia lay external eggs on the bug host.
If you do find any bugs with Tachinid eggs attached, please do retain them, I would be very keen to try to rear out the onvoard Tachinid.
my example of this fly was perched a foot from a mating pair of Sloe (Hairy) Bugs. Are the bugs doomed, so can be kept seperate from their food plant, or should that be replenished. Or are the eggs bound for the young? Also, are the eggs obvious, ie, clustered over the animal, they'd be pretty small from this fly surely..
The only host record we know of for Phania funesta is the grass bug Legnotus limbosus, so I would suggest that as your Sloe Bugs are in a different family of bugs from Legnotus they may well be safe.
External eggs are fairly obvious, comparatively large whie objects stuck to the upper surface of the head or thorax of the bug, there are a few nice sets of pictures on I-Spot. Phania will place eggs in the host internally, so they will not be visible.
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