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Diptera.info :: Miscellaneous :: General queries
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Connoisseurs in Leucopis?
KWQ
#1 Print Post
Posted on 24-08-2010 07:57
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Location: Turku, Finland
Posts: 208
Joined: 10.12.04

We were just discussing in our Finnish mailing list about the genus Leucopis (Chamaemyiidae). And that discussion turned out to be quite short. It seems we are about to rate this genus as one of the least known European diptera families.

This bugs me since I have a couple of really beautiful and superficially even characteristic-looking Leucopis males in my indet. box. Does there happen to be anyone here who...

a) Has personal knowledge of this group?
Cool Happens to be sitting next to a magnificent Leucopis collection?

If so, I could bother that unlucky person with a couple of further inquiries...Smile
 
JariF
#2 Print Post
Posted on 24-08-2010 08:20
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 2072
Joined: 20.01.06

Maybe Steve Gaimari can help if he reads this.

Jari
 
Steve Gaimari
#3 Print Post
Posted on 31-08-2010 03:55
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Location: Sacramento, California, USA
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Hi - just read this - sorry a week late, but I've been on vacation this last week. In any case, I would tend to disagree that chamaemyiids in Europe are that poorly known. Certainly Europe is the by far the best known fauna for the family, thanks to the 50 year career of Vitali Tanasijtshuk in St Petersburg. My guess is that most Leucopis (males) you have will be identifiable - not to say there aren't new species - there certainly are, but it is far from poorly known in that region. They are definitely not an easy group in any case, and they are a group that people tend not to put off for a later date! I have all the literature for the European species, and specimens of nearly all of them. Anyway, I'm happy to field further inquiries on the subject!
Smile
 
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pla/ppd/staff/sgaimari.html
KWQ
#4 Print Post
Posted on 31-08-2010 09:55
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Location: Turku, Finland
Posts: 208
Joined: 10.12.04

Great to recieve your friendly and interested transatlantic answer, Steve!

Well, now we can proceed. Is it OK that I write my inquiries here in public, since you never know if others here might also benefit from your answers?

Firstly, I have a literature problem, I only have a Collin's old (1963) British article and Bei-Bienko's Keys to the Insects...(1988).
These don't include even nearly all of the Leucopis species announced from Finland (more than 10, but not systematically checked yet). Is there any publication that covers better the genital pictures? Could Tanasijtshuk's 1986 publication (Fauna USSR) be one?

Secondly, even if I have this lack of literature I'd like to ask about 2 striking taxonomic features whether they are characteristic or decisive taxonomically. If so, I could start with trying to compare my specimens against the species of your possible suggestions.

It's a pity that in these cases my needles go just through that place of abdomen where there should be prescutellar bristles - or not, so I'm unsure whether they belong to the Leucopis s. str.

1. The dots on the abdomen. Another of my males (which could belong to the subgenus Leucopomyia, I think there is a prescutellar)) has a pair of black dots on the 2nd large tergite and a single dot on the fore margin of the two following tergites. It also has brown lines on thorax.

2. The coloration of arista. Another species has an unicolorous silvery abdomen and thorax but an interesting-looking arista. It is basally thickened and light yellow. Then there is a little darkened area and after that the arista is lighter again.
 
Steve Gaimari
#5 Print Post
Posted on 02-09-2010 19:16
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Location: Sacramento, California, USA
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Tanasijtshuk's 1986 paper is certainly the best resource out there, but when there is confusion, there are a couple of other papers (by Tanasijtshuk, or Raspi) that should be consulted. In other words, the 1986 work doesn't hold the magic final word! In any case, regarding you couple of specimens you mentioned:

"pair of black dots on the 2nd large tergite and a single dot on the fore margin of the two following tergites. It also has brown lines on thorax"
--whether this is Leucopis s.s., or Leucopomyia, this is the most typical situation, so this won't help for identification at all.

"unicolorous silvery abdomen and thorax but an interesting-looking arista. It is basally thickened and light yellow. Then there is a little darkened area and after that the arista is lighter again."
--the unicolorous silver abdomen and thorax is more uncommon, but the antennal character may help a little, but is not unique.

I would suggest that there are very few "spot characters" for any species of Leucopis, so I would not venture to suggest a name without seeing the specimen and dissecting the genitalia.
 
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pla/ppd/staff/sgaimari.html
KWQ
#6 Print Post
Posted on 03-09-2010 08:00
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Location: Turku, Finland
Posts: 208
Joined: 10.12.04

Thanks a lot, Steve! As I feared the external characters aren't much of anything in this group.

Guess I must check the literature you mentioned next.

So I perhaps should get hold of the Tanasijtshuk's 1986 paper if it contains more species than "Bei-Bienko"?

But what is the reference of that Raspi you mentioned? Sounds Italian... Does that article contain Northern European species?

I'll include the preliminary and unchecked list of Finnish Leucopis species:

Leucopis alticeps (Czerny)
annulipes (Zetterstedt)
argenticollis (Zetterstedt)
geniculata (Zetterstedt)
griseola (FallÚn)
impunctata (v. Roeser)
puncticornis (Meigen)
Leucopomyia silesiaca (Egger)
Lipoleucopis praecox (de Meijere)
Neoleucopis atratula (Ratzeburg)
freyi (McAlpine)
obscura (Haliday)
orbiseta (McAlpine)
 
Steve Gaimari
#7 Print Post
Posted on 22-09-2010 17:44
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Location: Sacramento, California, USA
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KWQ wrote:
Thanks a lot, Steve! As I feared the external characters aren't much of anything in this group.

Guess I must check the literature you mentioned next.

So I perhaps should get hold of the Tanasijtshuk's 1986 paper if it contains more species than "Bei-Bienko"?

But what is the reference of that Raspi you mentioned? Sounds Italian... Does that article contain Northern European species?

I'll include the preliminary and unchecked list of Finnish Leucopis species:

Leucopis alticeps (Czerny)
annulipes (Zetterstedt)
argenticollis (Zetterstedt)
geniculata (Zetterstedt)
griseola (FallÚn)
impunctata (v. Roeser)
puncticornis (Meigen)
Leucopomyia silesiaca (Egger)
Lipoleucopis praecox (de Meijere)
Neoleucopis atratula (Ratzeburg)
freyi (McAlpine)
obscura (Haliday)
orbiseta (McAlpine)


Hi - sorry for my long delay in answering. In any case, Raspi did a number of papers from the 1980's to present clarifying the identities of certain species (e.g., of Rondani), but he did not make keys. Just to make a couple of simple corrections/comments to your list:

Leucopis alticeps is in Leucopomyia. Additionally, Leucopomyia alticeps is not present in northern latitudes as far as I know. In the literature (e.g., Tiensuu 1951 for Finland), it is recorded, but is a misidentification of Leucopomyia silesiaca.

Leucopis geniculata is in Anchioleucopis.

Leucopis puncticornis is unrecognizable (types have not been found in modern times), yet is a very commonly used name in collections and in literature - due to similarities among Leucopis many many species are included.

The same is true for Leucopis griseola (many collections have specimens labelled as such that are not, and literature refers to it incorrectly a lot), but fortunately this is an easily recognizable species today.

The same is also true for Leucopis impunctata - again, used in literature a lot for different species. Not currently recognizable.

Anyway, hope this is helpful. Smile
Steve
 
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pla/ppd/staff/sgaimari.html
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