this settled briefly on Ivy and was out of reach..
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Looking at my quadrifasciatus specimens, none have such an apparently yellow top to the head, nor a yellow scutellum. I don't know Conops ceriaeformis, nor the two Leopoldius, but you might want to have a look at those.
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ok thanks, I was a bit baffled by the scutellum. I'll look those up. Perhaps making up for a missed rostrata after all then..
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this seems a fair shot, unless there are others to look at too. Perhaps worth looking for again as it's close by.
I've a specimen from 5 miles north-west of here but lacking the extra yellow on the head you noted with this observation. I've read that it's a good family for beginners, and have pored over the keys repeatedly, but don't really have anything to compare with - as a start would the simple absence of the long, level proboscis be enough to rule out a Conops?
Yes...definitely, assuming it is very short indeed.
I have taken a big interest in Conopidae local to me the last few years, but I don't have the variety of species which you have down there, so can't help with Leopoldius, for example.
If David Clements says probably brevirostris for this...I ain't going to argue with him!
I have found that while they are okay as a family, Conopidae are not as easy as some would suggest and that getting specimens for comparison is important. If you are finding these tough, wait 'til the spring when you start finding some of the Myopa on Sallows...they can be tricky! The further problem with them all is that you only ever find the odd specimen...so getting reference material can take some time.
Exciting flies...I love them.
From Dave Clements' email response after viewing this observation:
"..it is a feature of brevirostris females that the abdomen on dorsal view trypically contracts sharply after the 5th tergite, which it appears to do in these photos."
Thanks for that...a useful pointer.
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