Journal archives for March 2020

March 25, 2020

starting on Flies

1 pair of wings. Eyes in front.

Guide from @edanko:

Calyptrate flies
"genus Musca has wing vein M bent near the tip of the wing to meet vein R4+5 (or nearly meet it) at the very edge of the wing (I'll have to let you look up those wing veins in a field guide or on the web, sorry). Your fly seems to have vein M run parallel to R4+5 without bending near the tip, which is actually true of most muscoid flies, but not genus Musca... :) Yours is more like this one:"

Musca House fly

-- 2 stripes on back

Sarchophagine Flesh fly

-- "scutum black with 4 grey stripes. abdomen "black and grey patterning"

Calliphordinae Blow fly

-- eats honey dew / nectar, bristles on sides of thorax, often metallic blue or green blue blowfly (can be useful pollinator) Genus Calliphora green bottlefly Genus Lucilia

Family: Tachinid
Tribe: Tachinine, Genus: Epalpus

    "The light yellowish grayish head, thorax, and dark abdomen with a whitish spot at the end. This should also be distinct for Epalpus signifer species in the east. I don't know the western species." - aispinsects
  • - white spot on bottom clear here

    Family Bombyliidae

    Bee flies (fly with proboscis, lots of fur)

  • Bombylius major

    Family Syrphidae (Flower Flies or Hover Flies)

    See post:
    Open questions:
    How closely related are bee flies and drone flies?
    why mimic bees? "there is one thing flies cannot do that bees can – sting!"

  • Posted on March 25, 2020 15:38 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 2 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

    March 18, 2020

    starting on bees

    Spring is springing; bees and flies are pollinating the oregon grape. (Even that is wrong. It looks all I have are flies on the oregon grape. Learning that flies can be vegetarian too. The honeybees are feeding on camellia and dandelion and bumblebees on rosemary. Is feeding the right word?) The iNaturalist community is identifying some of my observations as western honeybees,or hover flies, calpytrate flies, tachinid flies. I need to do some homework to take advantage of the community's work. Educate my eye. Learn more of the things to look for.

    First I'm going back to my notes on bees, from Thor Hanson's Buzz.

    Western Honeybee

    • domesticated
    • introduced to US
    • one bee was identified as female, is that because it was a worker? gathering pollen? From wikipedia article: "Although worker bees are usually infertile females, when some subspecies are stressed they may lay fertile eggs. Since workers are not fully sexually developed, they do not mate with drones and thus can only produce haploid (male) offspring."
    • drones, male, are 1.5 x size of workers
    • "Another form of worker policing is aggression toward fertile females. Some studies suggest a queen pheromone which may help workers distinguish worker-laid and queen-laid eggs, but others indicate egg viability as the key factor in eliciting the behavior."
    Bumble Bee

    Mining Bees- Genus Andrena
    "Species are often brown to black with whitish abdominal hair bands, though other colors are possible, most commonly reddish, but also including metallic blue or green.
    Andrena bees can be readily distinguished from most other small bees by the possession of broad velvety areas in between the compound eyes and the antennal bases, called "facial foveae". They also tend to have very long scopal hairs on the hind leg." - Wikipedia

    Diggers - Genus Anthothora
    "All species are solitary, though many nest in large aggregations.
    Males commonly have pale white or yellow facial markings." - Wikipedia
    Nomad - Genus Nomada
    "Kleptoparasitic bees are so named because they enter the nests of a host and lay eggs there, stealing resources that the host has already collected.
    As parasites, they lack a pollen-carrying scopa, and are mostly hairless, as they do not collect pollen to feed their offspring.[4] Like non-parasitic bees, adults are known to visit flowers and feed on nectar.
    They are often extraordinarily wasp-like in appearance, with red, black, and yellow colors prevailing, and with smoky (infuscated) wings or wing tips. They vary greatly in appearance between species, and can be stripeless, or have yellow or white integumental markings on their abdomen. " - Wikipedia



    Work in Progress

    Posted on March 18, 2020 17:21 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment