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Hoverfly ID? (Cambs. UK) (1 Viewer)

DoghouseRiley

Well-known member
Hi All

I came across this hoverfly on a woodland ride. I think it is Melangyna labiatarum
(Matt-backed Melangyna).

Could someone please confirm or set me straight?

Yours, Gareth
 

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pdwinter

Paul Winter
M. compositarum seems to be mainly recorded in conifer forests in Scotland , but it always a possibility .
I'm only basing my reply on what you have to enter into the HRS (Hoverfly Recording System) because there is some debate over the taxonomy as to whether compositarum and labiatarum are separate species.

Separation of compositarum and labiatarum males is done on the hairiness of the eyes and Gareth's pictures aren't detailed enough for us to see that.
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
I wouldn't be confident ruling out Melangyna umbellatarum either.
No you're right - neither would I. I have taken the detail out of the shadows in the two photos and I still wouldn't like to decide !
 

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DoghouseRiley

Well-known member
For what it is worth my thoughts regarding my original ID were:
I think the thorax is dull. It was a hot sunny day and there is barely a reflection on it.
That would suggest that it is not M. umbellatarum (based on Ball & Morris), their picture (without sunshine) shows a metalic finish to the thorax.
You can even see the reflection of the photographer!
It also suggests that the markings are paler, often creamy white. In real time, my individual was definitely a shade of yellow rather than cream.
As far as habitat is concerned:
Looking at Steven Falk's photographs, I noticed that some were taken in Hampton Wood, Warwick. Which is descibed as "ancient woodland and meadow". I think that the M. compositarum / labiatarum is found in/near conifer forests but in the lowlands it appears to have a different habitat.
Yours G
 

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