[Syrphidae] genitalia nomenclature etc

Mon Apr 9 00:31:30 BST 2012

Hi there,

Does anyone have a good standard work on male genitalia in Syrphidae?
I'm always a bit frustrated with the lack of clarity when genital structures are mentioned in keys or figures.
Somehow, it's often found obsolete to indicate whether the drawing shows a lateral/ventral/dorsal view, and even just naming parts is rather exception than rule: epandrium, hypandrium/hypopygium, surstylus, gonostylus, paramere, aedeagus, aedeagal lobe, ... Many of theses things seem to be taken for granted.
Identification guides go into great detail when it comes to define a priori the structural sides of the thorax, wing morphology, etc. but I have never seen this for Syrphid genitalia, nor how genitalia are modified segments and how to "read" them.
Often it's called "genitalia" whereas it may refer only to a specific part of the genital apparatus. That's like showing a picture of a first tarsus and labelling it as "leg". Still, that's pretty ok if you know that the distal part of the leg is called the tarsus, but what to do if you don't know where to find a paramere if nobody told you in the first place where it's located, especially when it's hidden by some other structure?
Interpreting such label-less 2D figures out of their structural context when confronted with a 3D specimen under a stereomiscroscope and linking this to a key can be really frustrating.
I had hoped to find a pdf of CL Metcalf's work "The genitalia of male Syrphidae". If anyone has it, I would be grateful to receive a digital copy. Other suggestions are welcome as well.

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