For the past few months I have been using Fonseca's key (Handbook for the Identification of British Insects - Diptera Cyclorrhapha Calyptrata Section (b) Muscidae by E. C. M d'Assis Fonseca, 1968) to identify Muscid flies I have collected. I was having trouble with some small black female flies which kept running to Dialytina atriceps (=Phaonia atriceps) but which definitely had only 2 posterior bristles on their mid tibae instead of the required 3. Well I think I have just solved the problem: they are Phaonia halterata. Instead of keying out before you enter the main Phaonia subkey they run right to the last couplet of the that subkey. I now have to go back and recheck all the 20 flies I have already assigned to atriceps. Using keys takes quite a lot of gettting used to.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 9:54PM
Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 1:35PM
A comma butterfly, Polygonia c-album (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). A bit late in the year for a butterfly but it has been a fairly warm autumn so far.
Photo taken in the field below Chazey Wood, near Caversham, UK, on 2015-11-15.