[Syrphidae] Episyrphus balteatus synonymous - Am I right ?

Kumar Ghorpade blossomfly1973 at yahoo.co.in
Mon Sep 26 10:42:54 BST 2005

Dear Ludovic,

There is only one species of Episyrphus, balteatus (De Geer) in Europe. As Chris Thompson has written, this was earlier placed in different genera like Musca, Syrphus, and Epistrophe but now Matsumura’s genus Episyrphus (with mainly Afrotropical and Oriental species, just a couple or so in the Palaearctic) is considered the most phylogenetically correct placement. For your information, E. balteatus occurs only in north India and down to the southern parts of China in the Indo-chinese peninsula. The tropical "balteatus" specimens are different species, viridaureus, nectarinus, alternans, arcifer, etc., and Africa also has some other species restricted to that continent. The sister-group (or "sibling-genus" in my terminology !) of Episyrphus is Meliscaeva Frey, with species dominant in the Oriental Region. Hope this helps. Cheers,


Ludovic Arnaud <arnaud.l at fsagx.ac.be> wrote:Hi all,

Being new with syrphid world, I encountered some troubles with "Episyrphus 
balteatus". Are "Syrphus balteatus", "Episyrphus cretensis", "Episyrphus 
balteatus", "Epistrophe balteata" all refering to the same species, i.e. 
Episyrphus balteatus ? Or do some of them species are distinct species ?

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards, Ludovic

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Dr Kumar Ghorpade, B.Sc.(Agri.),M.Sc.,Ph.D (Entomol.)
Smithsonian Institution (U.S.A.) Postdoc Fellow (1982-1983)
Systematic Entomologist & P.-G. Teacher, Dept Entomology, Univ. Agril Sci., Dharwar, Karnataka (India)
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