[Syrphidae] Re: genitalia nomenclature etc

Steven Falk steven at sfalk.wanadoo.co.uk
Mon Apr 9 09:44:36 BST 2012



There is lots of information available in book e.g. British Hoverflies
(Stubbs & Falk), The Natural History of Hoverflies (Rotheray & Gilbert) or
non Syrphid-specific literature e.g Manual of Nearctic Diptera  because the
terms tend to carry over across families - though there can be some
variation in terminology.


But you are right, you need to consider the genitalia in 3D and carefully
look at how all the bits articulate and become familiar with how certain
parts are rigid whilst other softer bits are prone to variation or damage. I
dissected the genitalia of many syrphid species in the past, esp Cheilosini,
see Stubb & Falk diagrams.


Incase anybody is interested, I'm currently putting my syrphid photos (plus
most other wildlife groups) onto Flickr. Follow the link below - lots of
nice images of some very elusive species, plus their habitats. I'm about 40%
there (families like Tabanidae, Bombyliidae etc already finished).


Which syrphids are you looking at?




Steven Falk

Artist - Naturalist - Photographer 



Wildlife identification & information resources at:

www.flickr.com/people/63075200 at N07/


From: syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk
[mailto:syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk] On Behalf Of MERGEAY,
Sent: 09 April 2012 00:32
To: Hoverfly discussion list (syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk)
Subject: [Syrphidae] genitalia nomenclature etc


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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