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Tephritid Flies

A tephritid fly, probably Tephritis hyoscyami (Diptera: Tephritidae) on a thistle (probably a Carduus sp).  There were quite a few of these of on a stand of thistles which were about to come into flower.  At first I thought that, with the two dark blocks on the wing, they might be Tephritis bardanae, but I had previously only seen the latter on burdock (Arctium sp) so I witheld judgment until I got home and had a chance to look up the wing patterns.  Then I discovered that they were most likely T. hyoscyami.

The name 'hyoscyami' suggests that these flies are associated with plants of the Hyoscyamus genus (henbanes) but this misleading and was possibly the result of a mistake by Linnaeus (see here).

Photos taken in the field below Chazey Wood, near Caversham, UK, on 2012-05-22.

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