Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Syrphidae (hoverflies)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Caliprobola Rondani

Calliprobola; formerly Milesia.

Adult flies. The flies hivebee-like (shaped like a queen hive bee, but much larger and spectacularly tinted), or vespid wasp-like (cf. Dolichovespula sylvestris and D. media); dark metallic green, with bands of golden abdominal hairs, and marked orange on the long legs; medium sized to large; 13–15 mm long. Wings 11–12.5 mm long.

The head wider than the thorax to about the same width as the thorax. The face ground-coloured at least part yellow; without a central knob. The eyes depicted as bare. Antennae relatively short, drooping; seated on a conspicuous prominence. The third antennal segment ovoid or orbicular. The antennal bristle dorsal; much longer than the third segment; simple (bare).

The humeri hairy, and readily visible behind the head. The thorax pubescent without stiff bristles interspersed; patterned, or plain (the female with two pale anterior-lateral spots); without longitudinal stripes. The scutellum somewhat convex, with undefined edge. Wings patterned to plain (darkened reddish-brown or orange towards the front edge and tip); divergent in repose. Wing veins R2+3 and R4+5 not forming a closed cell. The anterior cross vein R-M in cell R5 crossing it at or beyond the middle of the adjoining discal cell. Vein R4+5 without a conspicuous curve projecting into the cell R5; without a backwardly projecting, incomplete transverse veinlet. The lower outer marginal vein more or less parallel with the posterior wing margin. The upper and lower outer marginal cross veins strongly stepped. The upper outer marginal cross-vein conspicuously bent near the base the base; not re-entrant. The alula distinct.

The abdomen wider than the thorax to about the same width as the thorax (female), or about the same width as the thorax to narrower than the thorax; narrowly obovate. The male abdomen with 4 visible segments. The abdomen conspicuously furry to not conspicuously furry; contrastingly patterned (via the narrow bands of golden hairs at the bases of tergites 2, 3 and 4). The patterning attributable to the furry hair coat (or at least, to the hair bands). The spiracles of the third abdominal segment borne at or near the anterior corner of each side.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae tapering posteriorly; tailed. The anal segment abruptly constricted basally into the long, narrow tail (but not rat-tailed); shorter than the rest of the body (about half as long, markedly elongated between the second and third pair of lappets). The larvae flattened; pallid, plain; without thoracic hooks; mouth without triangular sclerites; anal segments with lappets. The larvae saprophagous; in rotten wood and in decaying tree roots (in rotting beech wood, especially old stumps).

Classification. Subfamily Milesiinae; tribe Xylotini.

British representation. 1 species in Britain (C. speciosa).

Illustrations. • Caliprobola speciosa (Beautiful Milesia Hover-fly: B. Ent. 034). • Caliprobola speciosa: B. Ent. 034, legend+text. • Caliprobola speciosa: B. Ent. 034, text cont.. • C. speciosa, female (with Ferdinandea, Mallota and Mallota). • C. speciosa, head: Verrall. • 15 genera (from Walker).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Syrphidae (hoverflies). Version: 28th July 2015.’.