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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Doros Meigen

Adult flies. The flies resembling Eumenes, or sphecid wasp-like (cf. D. profuges and Mellinus, Odynerus, Ancistrocerus); black with yellow markings; medium sized to large; 14–16 mm long. Wings 11.25–13.25 mm long.

The head about the same width as the thorax. The face ground-coloured at least part yellow; not flat or retreating between antennae and mouth; not elongated horizontally into a cone as long as the rest of the head. The frons smooth. The eyes bare. Antennae relatively short, drooping; with their bases well separated; black. The third antennal segment ovoid or orbicular. The antennal bristle dorsal; simple (pubescent).

The humeri bare. The thorax pubescent without stiff bristles interspersed; patterned (with yellow); with longitudinal stripes. The thoracic striping lateral only; exhibiting sharply defined, yellow lateral lines. The scutellum at least partly yellow, or brownish, ferrugineous or tawny. Wings patterned (almost colourless elsewhere, but conspicuously brown along the fore margin towards the costa); without black flecks along the hind edges; incumbent and almost parallel 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 before 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 slightly diverging from the posterior wing margin to 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 thoracic squamae without long hairs dorsally. The anterior anepisternum bare.

The abdomen posteriorly wider than the thorax to about the same width as the thorax; clavate (posteriorly depressed, basally cylindrical and constricted). The lateral margins of the tergites smoothly rolled over and without beading. The abdomen with 5 segments apparent, or 6 segments apparent. The male abdomen with 5 visible segments. The abdomen contrastingly patterned. The tergite patterning involving 2 to 5. The colour-patterned tergites marked with yellow. The tergite bands medianly interrupted (that on tergite 2 with its components angled strongly backwards from the median interruption), or entire (the posterior ones); very narrow. The spiracles of the third abdominal segment borne in the middle of each side.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae probably detectably segmented (but no desription located); dorsally smooth, without projections. The larvae seemingly non-aquatic (judging from locations of puparia); probably predatory (on aphids, having been associated with ant-infested wood).

Classification. Subfamily Syrphinae; tribe Syrphini.

British representation. 1 species in Britain (D. profuges). Mostly known from southern England, but represented by old records from all over the British Isles.

Illustrations. • D. profuges: Verall. • 18 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. delta-intkey.com’.

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