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Myathropa florea - Copula  Diptera,Geotagged,La Palma (Canary Islands),Myathropa,Myathropa florea,Spain,Syrphidae,copulation,hoverfly Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

    comments (5)

  1. Really nice shot - the colors really pop! How interesting that their color changes after death. Posted 4 months ago
    1. It's the case with many species, or maybe I should say types of pigment. It's one of the reasons that "professional" articles often fail to describe the colours or general appearance of newly described species and just add some drawings of genitalia or some such, thus "defining" the species. It often happens that the author has never seen a life specimen and just has no idea what the animal really looks like alive. Apart from pigments fading, also scales and hairs get rubbed off quite easily. I have fought hard fights with descriptions of jumping bristletails that were described based on specimen kept in alcohol for quite some while before noticing it was something new/unknown so the type specimen have no colour on the cuticle left and all scales are lost, whereas the same species alive is quite recognizable due to distinct pattern in the scales, eyes or even cuticle, but the species description doesn't mention that because the author had no way of knowing :-/ Posted 4 months ago, modified 4 months ago
      1. Interesting. I have noticed that caterpillars and spiders that I have in alcohol fade and change color over time. I'll have to check my pinned collection for signs of fading. I open the boxes very seldom - just to check for the inevitable dermestid damage.

        It's sad that entomologists often don't get enough field work or experience with live specimens.
        Posted 4 months ago
        1. The thing is, I suppose, that the "difficult cases" - sometimes resulting in new species - get forwarded to specialist long after they have been collected during a collecting expedition or when a group of species gets "re-organized" in a collection or some occasion like that. The specialists probably has ample time in the field, but just didn't get to collect the specimen sent to him for ID or confirmation and hence has never seen these alive if it proves to be a new species.
          Yes, alcohol will make most colours fade over time, but dried specimen also fade - the likes of the Cassidinae for example will often be various hues of green in life, but quickly fade to an indiscript pale yellowish brown when pinned.
          Posted 4 months ago
          1. Good points :)
            Posted 4 months ago

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''Myathropa florea'' is a very common European and North African species of hoverfly. Adults may be seen on flowers from May to September. It is of similar size as the drone fly, but living ''Myathropa'' are generally more yellow, with two light bands to the thorax, interrupted with a black central smudge. In museum specimens, any yellow colour soon fades to brown after death. Like most Eristalini, ''Myathropa'' are rather variable in size, shape and colour.

Larvae feed on bacteria in.. more

Similar species: True Flies
Species identified by Pudding4brains
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By Pudding4brains

Public Domain
Uploaded Jul 5, 2019. Captured in Camino el Pedregal, 38769 El Pedregal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.