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Tips For Using The Keys More Effectively And Errata


Keys to the genera and species of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of America North of Mexico.  2006.  Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108(3): 689-725.

P. 697. Keys to Genera. Couplet 13 separates the genus Lucilia from other genera. The second half of couplet 13 states abdomen metallic blue with whitish microtomentum, but Cynomya and Cyanus both have shining abdomens with no whitish microtomentum which is similar to Lucilia. However, you can still separate these genera from Lucilia because the thorax of each genus (Cynomya and Cyanus) is covered with whitish microtomentum while it is not in Lucilia.

P. 697, Couplet 15. Separating species based on calypter color can be confusing, because species that fall in the “dark” category vary from light to dark brown. Sometimes the margin is white, but the center is always at least light brown. Most of the species with “white” calypters are rarely collected (except Cynomya) and occur only in the far north or at high elevation. White calypters sometimes darken in specimens killed in alcohol or left in kill jars too long. In Cyanus the upper calypter often has a light tan margin, but a white center, the lower calypter is all white.

P. 699 Couplet 4. Calliphora latifrons has an orange anterior spiracle which will separate it from most of those Calliphora found later in the key. The exception is C. vicina which also has an orange anterior spiracle. Also note C. grahami, which comes earlier in the key, has an orange anterior spiracle.
Couplet 6, says the genal dilation of C. coloradensis is reddish, but only the anterior half to two-thirds is reddish.

P. 700. Couplet 11. A good character to separate both sexes of Calliphora loewi from C. alaskensis is that the former has a conspicuous undusted stripe between the presutural acrostichals when viewed from the rear. In the latter, that area is uniformly microtomentose.

P.716, Fig. 84, the left side of the sketch (male Pollenia angustigena) shows the density of setae on the venter of the abdomen, but it is drawn too sparse. It is about twice as dense as shown, but still much sparser than in male P. rudis.

P. 718. Couplet 2. Palp black or brown versus orange or yellow - specimens with light colored palps can be confusing as they darken in specimens killed in alcohol or left too long in a kill jar. Check other characters before confirming ID.

P. 719. Couplet 8. In my key, it was difficult to separate female Lucilia cluvia from L. coeruleiviridis. The following character works for both sexes. In L. cluvia the color of the setae on the gena is pale along the rear 1/3 to 1/2. In L. coeruleiviridis the setae on the gena are all dark. Note however, the postgena of both species has pale setae.

P. 722, There were several errors in the section on Pollenia griseotomentosa. I stated that Rognes listed Pollenia griseotomentosa from Ontario, Canada in his 1991 book, but that was incorrect. He actually verified the specimen from that location in 1997 and relayed this information to me via personal communication. Under couplet 5, I listed P. griseotomentosa from the Northwestern U.S. and Wisconsin, based on the absence of the outer posthumeral seta. However, I have since concluded these specimens were aberrant P. angustigena, not P. griseotomentosa. I have subsequently verified a male specimen of P. griseotomentosa from Green County, Pennsylvania.

Errors in the Literature cited:
P.725, For Shannon, R.C. 1926. the correct pages are 115-139.


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Terry Whitworth, Ph.D.
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