[Syrphidae] Greetings !
rhinobaccha at yahoo.co.in
Wed Dec 25 07:11:12 GMT 2013
Its 5 a.m. on a cold Christmas day in Dharwar (our ‘cold
season’ now, no ‘winter’ here in the tropics) and it seems most appropriate and
practical to use this site to wish my hover-flyer ‘family’ and friends a Merry
X’mas and a wonderful coming New Year 2014 ! May us all document further interesting and novel data on these
beautiful flies together, like the many wonderful papers published this year.
We in India also
celebrate Christmas (a government holiday here, like many Hindu and Muslim
festivals) in this ancient civilization with a multi-religious, multi-lingual,
multi-ethnic population of immigrants (by sea and then overland) from Eurasia, actually mostly from the
Euphrates-Tigris river valleys in current Iraq (Persia, Mesopotamia) as DNA
research has revealed.
I was browsing
information about Alfred Russel Wallace (his centenary death anniversary fell
on 7th November 2013) for a forthcoming paper on Oriental Spheginobaccha de Meijere, and found the
following in his writings to share with you all :
" A very tall
Pig with a very long nose
Sends forth a
proboscis right down to his toes,
And then by the name of an Elephant goes,
Which Nobody can
" An Ape with
a pliable thumb and big brain,
When the gift of
the gab he had managed to gain,
As Lord of Creation established his reign,
Which Nobody can Deny !
And my collection of “Nonsense Rhymes” (with drawings) by
Edward Lear had nothing on flies but the following may be appropriate to help
novices distinguish a hover-fly from its bee model :
“There was an Old
man in a tree,
Who was horribly
bored by a Bee;
When they said,
‘Does it buzz?’
He replied, ‘Yes,
‘It’s a regular
brute of a Bee!’
Being also an ‘Old’ Man now (what the hell is ‘old’
anyway?), I would recognize a hover-fly by the way it flies, graceful and unique, in character, unlike any bloody heavy
And I agree with
Wallace, my teen-age years collector-explorer hero (like Gerald Durrell was,
after Jim Corbett, with his great books I bought with my pocket-money and read
in delight), when he wrote :
"Those who succeed in the race for
wealth are by no means the best or the most intelligent ..." A.R.
Wallace (1890) “Human Selection.”
Cheers and have a happy holiday after working hard all year;
take ‘a break’ as they say nowadays,
Dr Kumar Ghorpade, Scientist Emeritus, Post-Graduate Teacher & Research Associate in Systematic Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Krishi Nagar, Dharwar 580 005, Karnataka, INDIA.
Postal Mailbox: P.O. Box 221, K.C. Park Post Office, Dharwar 580 008, INDIA. Registered mail to: "Bell Bungalow," Kumareswar Colony 1st Cross, off Haliyal Road, Saptapur, Dharwar 580 001 (INDIA).
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