This fly parasitises the Cabbage Looper caterpillar
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You can do no better than Chris's site...
Fantastic info on there!
My Flickr photos...
Excellent, cheers. So m-cu is indeed a cross-vein. In Voria I can see it appears to join at a more acute angle to the median vein than in the diagram. 'Median discals' I took initially to be the small cells at the base of the median-anal veins, but now I think it might refer to bristles along the abdomen. If that's the case though, what would 'discal' mean, wouldn't they just be median bristles..? (or setae)
I look forward to gathering comparative material and getting to know these features
latest pics and diptera videos
Discal is one of those words used to describe various bits of an insect, though the exact useage depends on the part being looked as and how the author of the key uses the word.
The root of "discal" referes to the "center of a disc". For wings, the stress is on "centre", discal cells are those in the "middle" of the wing.
The centre of the abdominal tergites or upper segments of the abdomen is often refered to as "the disc of tergite xx", so "Discal bristles" for Tachinids refers to large bristles arising from the middle part of the tergite.
These are defined as being in the central part of the segment as opposed to the "marginal bristles" which are all situated in a row very close to the rear edge of the segment. With Tachinids the presence or absence of either of these sets of bristles makes for important diagnostic characters.
Tachinid Recording Scheme
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The disc is the central part of a structure. Median discals are bristles found in the middle (not the front or rear edge), on the top of the abdominal tergite.
Lat/Lng: 51.6038, -0.0761
OS grid ref: TQ333911