[Syrphidae] Melanostoma scalare or mellinum?

Stuart Ball syrphidae@nottingham.ac.uk
Mon, 12 Jan 2004 17:34:29 -0000

I suggest you get in touch with Roger Morris
(Roger.Morris@English-Nature.org.uk). He and I are joint organisers of the
British Hoverfly Recording Scheme and would be happy to help in return for
eventual access to the records you generate! Roger would be able to check
some specimens for you. Once you have some reliable named specimens against
which to check stuff in future, you should be OK.

BUT - Melanostomma are undergoing revision and both mellinum and scalare are
rumoured to be species aggregates (with at least 5 sibling species in
mellinum and 2-3 in scalare), so don't be surprised if they don't key out
very cleanly. Nothing is published yet, so all you can do is soldier on with
the current "species" and retain specimens - especially of males.

Stuart Ball

-----Original Message-----
From: Fraser, SEM [mailto:semf102@york.ac.uk]
Sent: 12 January 2004 16:09
To: syrphidae@nottingham.ac.uk
Subject: [Syrphidae] Melanostoma scalare or mellinum?

I have recently started to identify hoverflies that I  have collected in
Malaise traps as part of my PhD at the University of York. I am getting
a lot of Melanostoma but am having difficulty separating males into
scalare or mellinum. Using the Stubbs and Falk key I have trouble
deciding whether Tergites 2 and 3 are twice as long as wide. In many
cases tergite 2 seems double the width in length but tergite three is
probably only one and a half time as long. This still seems elongate
when I compare them the specimens in which the tergites are more square
than elongate. Is there any way of overcoming this issue?
Sally Fraser

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