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Meral bristles
#1 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 00:00
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Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 1320
Joined: 12.04.05

I see meral bristles are a key character of Tachinidae. What is a meral bristle?

Stephen Cresswell
Tony Irwin
#2 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 00:12
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 7009
Joined: 19.11.04

Meral bristles are the curved row of bristles on the meron (=hypopleuron). The meron is the triangular(ish) plate on the side of the thorax above and between the mid and hind coxae (the very basal segment of the legs). The presence of meral bristles distinguishes the Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Rhinophoridae and Tachinidae (which have them) from the Muscidae, Scathophagidae, Anthomyiidae and Faniidae (which don't). The easiest way to find the meral bristles is to find the posterior thoracic spiracle, then look a little below and in front of it.
Tony Irwin
Robert Nash
#3 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 08:19

Location: Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Posts: 288
Joined: 11.11.05

See the first couplet in this illustrated key http://www.nku.ed...milies.htm Wink Robert
#4 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 11:10
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Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 1320
Joined: 12.04.05

Thank-you, gentlemen, I know what I am looking for now.

I can see that for photo identification, only a small percentage of photos are going to show this character well. On the other hand, I can now at least make the effort to get a good, enlarged, lateral view of the fly's mid-section.

Stephen Cresswell
Paul Beuk
#5 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 11:38
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Location: Netherlands
Posts: 19144
Joined: 11.05.04

The term has been added to the Glossary, but in the future it will be edited in such a way that 'meral' will lead to 'meron' (= 'hypopleuron'Wink. I will add an illustration that will immediatly show the meron with a row of setae.

- - - -

Paul Beuk on
#6 Print Post
Posted on 26-10-2006 13:32
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Location: Reading, England
Posts: 7699
Joined: 12.07.04

It's always good to know what makes flies fit into their various families - but the nice thing about having experience of our local fauna is that we can usually just know when a fly is a tachinid or muscid etc by sight and not have to look for meral bristles Smile Of course, in all the families mentioned only the Tachinidae or rhinophoridae (I think) have a subscutellum, so that narrows it down a bit too Smile
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