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[847/0] Pipizella pennina from jonas on 2015-05-28 15:52:42.579013+02 -
Dear all,
a quick message about Pipizella pennina: Frank vd Meutter and I were looking for this species for quit a while, and last week, we both caught the species simultaniously in the vast forests in the Viroin (Be).

It is a magnificent species, strickingly different when comparing to 'ordinary' Pipizella.

There were some recent records postedt online, with very vague locations, from the Viroin area. Apparently, after some interesting mailing trying to figure out details, we chose small spots with Erica and Poentilla ereca to look for the species. Which turned out very well for both of us - resulting in two additional squares for this species.


(ps, 2015 was also worth Melangyna pavlovskyi in numbers, some M. barbifrons males, over 100 M. barbifrons females, Melanogaster parumplicata, Chrysogaster rondanii in great numbers (seen over 40 specimens from two locations this year), ... can't complain)

[846/0] Xanthogramma leatum and Sphiximorpha subsessilis from Bastiaan on 2015-05-28 10:09:56.328848+02 -
Hi all,

Just to let you know both species are doing well in the Sonian Forest. I am following a small population of  Xanthogramma leatum to find out how they live and where the larvae live from. I have seen female laying eggs a couple of times but do still not know where they go from there.

The Sphiximorpha subsessilis population is declining as all tree wounds are self healed. Only one left and probably the comming few years will be closed too. Should I help the specie to stay there and cut some branches or leave it to nature?

Al least here a nice areal photo of Xanthogramma leatum ans a guarding Sphiximorpha subsessilis on his trunk.

See you soon. (Next weekend at the ISS VIII?)

Sphiximorpha subsessilisA hovering Xantogramma leatum

[840/0] Next Syrph wave has started... from Bastiaan on 2015-04-24 13:38:43.932625+02 -
After the early Syrphs the next wave has started. I Found yesterday a couple of species in the Sonianforest. Two Brachyopa species namely B.scutellaris and B.panzeri. See the latter in photo. Also a nice Criorhina ranunculi was taken on the photo.

BUT... what I found most excited was that I found a just cutted Fagus sylvatica, the European beech. And yes larvae! like 20 and 3 pupae. So far as I could look for it it is not a Criorhina ... I will have to wait for them I guess :)  Keep you updated!

rot hole in tree with a close-up of the larvaeC.ranunculiB.panzeri

[845/1] The larvae was a Brachypalpoides lentus from Bastiaan on 2015-04-30 07:32:05.21013+02 -

I wonder how long it takes to pump-up their wings. They are in this state for like 2 days.

[838/0] Melangyna lucifera in the Sonian forest from Bastiaan on 2015-03-17 14:25:49.785131+01 -

Yes, I found a Melangyna lucifera in the Sonian forest by accident. This is the second record of Belgium and for me rather unexpected. In a sense it is clear that early spring species are not research well enough so it is always possible. Also the biology of this specie is unknown so who knows where we can find them.

I went actually on a mission to find M.barbifrons which horribly failed unfortunately. Instead I found a lot of Melangyna quadrimaculata and a few Melangyna lasiophtalma.

I wanted to take a couple of male M.quadrimaculata photo's  with my phone to check if it is worthwhile to even take Syrphid photo's with my phone. I am sure if I knew this was a Melangyna lucifera I would have reacted differently! On the other end there is a wild photo of the specie now... still I advice you catch all Melangyna's directly as you see them and check them as looking from a distance could lead to wrong assumptions... I finally caught the specie you see in the photo and saw directly it was different.

As my phone camera does not produce high quality photo's you still can see it. On the left side you can see more or less the broad eye angle and on the right side you see the smaller spot on the second tergite.

One other thing I noticed is that the silver dust on the yellow spots which M.quadrimaculata has too can only be seen if you look to the abdomen in frontal view  (anterior view). You have to play with the light a bit and the view angle though. But ones you hit it the yellow changes into a beautiful silver light.

Also I found compared to the article "Het zilveren elfje Melangyna lucifera nieuw voor nederland en belgië (diptera: syrphidae)" from Elias de Bree, Frank van de Meutter & Jonas Mortelmans that the yellow colour is less orange in my specie than the photo in the article suggest. It might the print/screen quality but it is good to know.