Checklist of Erioptera (Mesocyphona) species of limoniid crane flies in Florida

This subgenus of limoniid crane flies can be recognized in the genus by the combination of patterned wings and lack of a discal cell. About 15 species occur in the United States, 8 of which may naturally reside in Florida (9 members in list accounts for subspecies) and are listed below.

- E. caliptera caliptera (widespread)

  • E. caliptera femoranigra? (Costa Rica, Mexico)
  • E. evergladea (Florida only)
  • E. femoraatra (southeastern US; LA-GA)
  • E. knabi (widespread)
  • E. needhami (eastern US and Canada)
  • E. parva (eastern US)
  • E. serpentina (eastern US; MA-NC; not recorded from Florida, but may occur)
  • E. tantilla (southern US; KS-TX-MS; no official records from Florida (?), but appears to occur quite commonly)

Most species can be identified based on their wing pattern. There are only a few groups of species that may share the same wing pattern. The following list provides the species that, as far as I know, have been photographed on iNaturalist and on BugGuide. Using photographs as references for species/subspecies identification that will be explained following this section will be best.

  • E. caliptera caliptera
  • E. knabi (single iNaturalist photograph from the US available)
  • E. needhami
  • E. parva
  • E. tantilla

Here are the species that have not been photographed that occur or may occur in Florida...

  • E. evergladea
  • E. serpentina

...and here are the species/subspecies that have been tentatively photographed.

(Photographs of either of the two previously mentioned taxa on BugGuide may not be exclusive to the linked BugGuide submission, and there may be photographs on iNaturalist as well)

-------------------------------------Species/subspecies identification--------------------------------------------

E. caliptera caliptera

  • Femora with 2 black rings
  • White spots on brown pattern: larger white spots neat arranged along the costa of the wing, remainder of the wing (interior) suffused with random white and brown spotting. A white, disorganized linear spot may run transverse along the middle of the wing from costa to one of the CuA veins
  • Similar species: E. femoraatra, E. needhami

E. caliptera femoranigra

  • Similar to E. caliptera caliptera in wing and femora pattern.
  • Femora darker, wings darker
  • From what I can gather, practically indistinguishable from E. femoraatra aside from geographic range. No information about wings or genitalia appears to be sufficient
  • Similar species: E. femoraatra, E. needhami

E. knabi

  • Please visit iNaturalist photo from California that captures this species
  • Thorax with 2 narrow brown dorsal lines and scutellum white divided by a brown line
  • Distinct complex wing pattern; Clusters of hyaline spots with each individual spot bordered by the brown lines that depict veins of the wing; clusters of hyaline spots separated but organized in a row of brown that runs along the costa with the thickness of the brown reaching to Rs and R4; remainder of the wing almost entirely hyaline
  • In other words, wing patterned with an assortment of white and brown "mickey mouse ears"
  • Femora white in basal half, dark in apical half, with the dark apical half divided by a light-colored ring
  • Similar species: E. evergladea

E. femoraatra

  • Similar to E. caliptera in wing and femora pattern
  • Femora darker, wings darker
  • Indistinguishable from E. caliptera femoranigra aside from geographic range
  • Similar species: E. caliptera, E. needhami

E. evergladea

  • Similar to E. knabi in wing pattern; but with much thinner wings and patterns, different thoracic pattern, a uniformly white scutellum (divided by brown line in E. knabi), and more distinct white longitudinal stripes on the side of the thorax?
  • Similar species: E. knabi

E. needhami

  • Similar to E. caliptera and E. femoraatra in wing pattern
  • Femora with only 1 brown ring. This feature separates from similar species
  • Similar species: E. caliptera, E. femoraatra

E. parva

  • One of the most distinct species; clear wings spotted with brown
  • Femora with one brown ring

E. serpentina

  • Similar to E. needhami in wing and femora pattern
  • May not be separable from needhami without inspection of male genitalia

E. tantilla

  • Distinct wing pattern. Very thin white spots on brown wings. Wings appear almost entirely brown.
  • Often assumes an unusual "rear sticking up" pose
  • Originally, the subgenus Mesocyphona is supposed to be characterized by the lack of discal cell by atrophy of the basal portion of M3 (in other words, M1+2 is split), but the reason this was not considered in this post is because this is contradicted by E. tantila. This species appears to have the discal cell lacking by atrophy of the m-m crossvein instead (a feature of subgenus Erioptera) or, in other words, vein CuA1 is split. However, it is the only member of the subgenus with this feature in the US and Canada. The Caribbean has a similar species E. costalis that has a similar appearance to E. tantila, but differs from having the M3 being atrophied instead of the m-m crossvein like in the other members of Mesocyphona in the US/Canada.
Posted on מרץ 09, 2019 07:32 אחה"צ by aispinsects aispinsects


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