[Syrphidae] Generic Identification Help Needed

jopagr at comcast.net jopagr at comcast.net
Mon May 25 23:04:02 BST 2009

Dear Santos: 

Yesterday another colleague had guided me to the Coccinellidae after I expressed a doubt as to its being a syrphid.  I did find an image of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and felt compelled to consider my bug as identified until you pointed out the genus "Scymnus or close."  I now realize that there are apparently several species (and possibly other genera) in the Scymnini that could represent what I photographed.  Thanks for  your very kind effort in enlarging my view!  


John Graham 

jopagr at comcast.net 

25 May 2009 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Santos Rojo" <santos.rojo at ua.es> 
To: "Hoverfly discussion list" <syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk> 
Cc: jopagr at comcast.net 
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 8:55:37 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Re: [Syrphidae] Generic Identification Help Needed 

Dear John 

The larvae covered with white filaments of waxy material it is a ladybird beetle probably Scymnus genus or close. Here you can see a photo. Larvae and adults are predators of aphid colonies. 


Best regards 

Santos Rojo 


In the USA did encounter an aphid predator that I believe was a syrphid.  The I failed to collect the animal, or even examine it, I did take a photo of it, on a Hairy Cat's-Ear (Hypochaeris radicata) plant supporting a population of Uroleucon (Dactynotus) aphids. 

The predator in question showed a tessellated pattern of distinct and prominent wax tufts. 

The only other non-coleopterous insect predator of which I am familiar is the lepidopterous Feniseca tarquinius larva, but I believe it preys on woolly aphids such as the Prociphilus tessellatus.  In that predation mode, it can get somewhat randomly and loosely covered with wax filaments producted by the aphids.  The predator in question, however, is not covered this way--and furthermore, the Uroleucon in question does not produced was filaments. 

I have included a photo of the insect.  Would appreciate commentary by anyone familiar with it. 


John Graham, Ph.D., entomology 

jopagr at comcast.net\ 

Instituto Universitario CIBIO - Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad 
Dpto de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales 
Universidad de Alicante. Apdo. 99 
E-03080 Alicante, Spain 
Tlf.: (int + 34) 965 90 34 00 ext. 3281 
FAX: (int + 34) 965 90 38 15 
e-mail: santos.rojo at ua.es 
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