Laphria astur Osten Sacken: Original Description

Osten Sacken, C. R. 1877. Western Diptera: Descriptions of new genera and species of Diptera from the region west of the Mississippi and especially from California. U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories Bull. 3, Page 285.

1. LAPHRIA (DASYLLIS) ASTUR n. sp., [Male Female].--Like Laphria posticata Say, but the tibiae beset with yellow pile. Length 14-20 mm.

Black; face, occiput, thoracic dorsum, and the two penultimate abdominal segments densely clothed with yellow hairs; palpi with black pile; a tuft of black bristles above the mouth is usually concealed under the overhanging yellow hairs of the face; scutellum with black pile. Legs black; front femora on their hind side and all the tibiae with long yellow hairs; on the hind tibiae, the yellow hairs do not quite reach the tip. Proximal half of the wings subhyaline; distal half more or less brownish, the inside of the cells being paler.

Hab.--Common in California; Petaluma, April 27; Mendocino, April 29 (J. Behrens); Saucelito, May 16. Most of my specimens, however, I caught about Webber Lake, Sierra Nevada (July 23-25). I have six males and nine females.

This species varies in the extent of yellow pile, especially around the neck, on the pleurae, and on the legs. As a rule, specimens taken at high altitudes have more yellow pile than those taken at lower ones. A specimen taken at Petaluma, therefore, but little above sea level, had no trace of yellow hairs on the tibiae. The specimens from Webber Lake had a great many yellow hairs. The fan-like row of hair in front of the halteres is, in different specimens, either yellow or black. Some specimens have a yellow tuft in front of the wings, and another in front of the coxae; in others, they are wanting. On the tibiae, the yellow hairs appear sometimes only at the base.

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