Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846

Young, Andrew D., Skevington, Jeffrey H. & Steenis, Wouter Van, 2020, Revision of the Psilota Meigen, 1822 flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) of Australia, Zootaxa 4737 (1), pp. 1-127 : 41-43

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Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846


Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846

(Species plate: Fig. 16 View FIGURE 16 ; Genitalia: Fig. 42 View FIGURE 42 C–D; Map: Fig. 55A View FIGURE 55 )

Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846: 268 . Type locality: Tasmania, Australia

Merodon muscaeformis Walker, 1852: 244 . Type locality: Tasmania, Australia

Diagnosis: Metallic blue species with frons pale pilose, pleuron shiny and black pilose. Hind femur with a distinct rounded apicoventral setulose carina. Hind tibia simple. Calypter entirely brown. Tergite 4 white pilose. Body Length: 9.4–14.0 mm.

Description: MALE: Head: Head black, face densely pale pollinose. Face and frons yellow pilose, vertex black pilose. Antenna usually entirely orange, rarely dull brown dorsally on postpedicel. Eye densely yellow pilose.

Thorax: Thorax dark, metallic blue. Legs mostly dark brown, with apices of femora, and entire fore and mid tibia sometimes pale brown/orange. Hind femur with a distinct rounded apicoventral setulose carina. Hind tibia simple, with no basoventral spur. Pleuron shining, pollinosity free. Pile on pleuron, scutum, and scutellum entirely black. Wing colourless, with cells c, r, bm, cua, and the anal lobe mostly bare. Cells r 4+5, r 2+3, and dm with bare areas basally. Alula completely microtrichose. Halter dark brown. Calypter pale brown to dark brown, always with a dark brown border. Abdomen: Abdomen metallic bluish-green. Tergites 2 and 3 with white pile on basal half and black pile on apical half, tergite 4 entirely white pilose. Sternites shining, white pilose. Genitalia: Epandrium compact, about as long as tall. Cercus approximately triangular. Outer lobe of surstylus inserted just above mid-height of inner lobe, curved downwards sharply at one-third its length. Inner lobe of surstylus strongly projected ventrally at base forming a triangular plate, slightly contricted at midlength, then broadening slightly towards a rounded apex. Phallapodeme with a small ventral projection. Gonostylus thick, darkened.

FEMALE: Identical except for normal sexual dimorphism.

Specimens examined: LECTOTYPE: AUSTRALIA ( Psilota coerulea ): Tasmania: Bears labels reading “ HOLOTYPE ”, “MNHN, Paris ED9367”, “13 44”, “ Psilota coerulea n. sp. Macq.”. (1♀, MNHN, photograph). Bears label “Type” [green circular label], “Muscae,” “VDL,” and “ Merodon / muscaeformis / Wlk” [in E. E. Austen’s handwriting], J. Skevington Specimen _45634, (1♀ BMNH, photograph) . Other material: Australian Capital Territory: Black Mountain , -35.273675 149.097583, 25.ii.1957, I.F.B. Common, light trap, ANIC29034817 (1♀, ANIC); GoogleMaps Mount Ainslie , -35.266667 149.166667, 28.xi.1996, C.J. Burwell, QM GoogleMaps _ REG._NO._T223174 (1♂, QM) ; New South Wales: 24 km W South Grafton, -29.616667 152.733333, 19.ix.1981; 8.ix.1983; 3.x.1985; 26.ix.1986; 29.ix.1986; 29.ix.1989, R. Eastwood, GDCBReg_19565; GDCBReg_19667-19668; GDCBReg_19694-19695; GDCBReg_19697; GDCBReg_19774; UQIC_ Reg 94590; UQIC_ Reg 94707 (9♂♂, GDCB, QM) GoogleMaps ; Congo , - 35.959786 150.135839, 3.x.1981, M.S. Upton, ANIC29034820 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Gosford , -33.426686 151.341658, x.1924, ANIC29034815 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Jenolan Caves , -33.819039 150.022917, 609m, ANIC29034458 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Katoomba, -33.713133 150.313267, 18.ii.1954, AustralianMuseumK410150 (1♀, AM) GoogleMaps ; Mount Tomah, Blue Mountains , -33.549614 150.416033, 29.ix.1977; 18.x.1980, N.W. Rodd, AustralianMuseumK407026; AustralianMuseumK410291 (1♂, 1♀, AM) GoogleMaps ; Narrabeen , -33.719683 151.297125, 16.ix.1934, D. F.W., ANIC29034814 View Materials (1♂, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Sydney , -33.926375 151.125936, 1925, Date is ambiguous reads ”2.1.25”, ANIC29034818 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Queensland: Carnarvon N.P., Summit Of “Fly Hill”, near West Branch Camp , -24.974167 147.992778, 900m, 12.x.2002, J. Skevington; J.E. O’Hara, CNC GoogleMaps _ Diptera 254989-254990; CNC_ Diptera 254994-254997 (5♂♂, CNC); Kenniff’s Lookout, Mt Moffatt sect., Carnarvon Nat Pk , -25.165167 147.840419, 25.ix.1986, D.K. Yeates, UQIC_ Reg 94661 (1♂, QM) GoogleMaps ; Kuranda , -16.816878 145.633497, ANIC29034453 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Mount Moffat Na- tional Park, Mount Rugged summit, -24.900000 148.000000, 1130m, 24.xi.1995, C.J. Burwell, QM GoogleMaps _ REG._NO._ T223173 (1♂, QM); Mount Moffatt, Mt Moffatt sect., Carnarvon Nat. Pk. , -25.165167 147.840419, 26.ix.1986, D.K. Yeates, UQIC_ Reg 94660 (1♂, QM) GoogleMaps ; Mount Tamborine , -27.923058 153.171667, 1923, W.H. Davidson, QM GoogleMaps _ REG._NO._T223175 (1♀, QM); Near Rosedale , -24.631128 151.913664, 27.x.1974, H. Frauca, ANIC29034916 View Materials (1♂, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Tasmania: Mole Creek , -41.558628 146.404517, 4.ii.1910, ANIC29034457 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Mount Wil- liam National Park, Summit of Mount William, -40.909722 148.186389, 23.xii.1998, J. & A. Skevington, UQIC_ Reg 94553-94554 (2♂♂, QM) GoogleMaps ; Swansea , -42.134133 148.058614, Lea, ANIC29034808 View Materials ; ANIC29034816 View Materials (2♀♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Victoria: Beaconfield , -38.048778 145.371733, A.M. Wade, ANIC29034821 View Materials (1♀, ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Broadwater National Park , -29.050325 153.427539, 6.ix.1981, D. Yeates, U.Q.I.C. Loan #1036, UQIC_ Reg 94582 (1♂, QM) GoogleMaps .

Discussion: Lectotype female in MNHN and labeled: “ HOLOTYPE ” [red label], “13 /44” [circular label], “MNHN, Paris/ ED9367,” and “ Psilota / coerulea / n. sp. Macq.” Only a fragment remains in a microvial, along with a badly dermestid eaten remnant on the pin.

The original species description of Psilota coerulea does not list a holotype or syntype series but appears to be based on a female specimen described as “De le Tasmanie. Muséum.”. A specimen in the Paris Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle bears labels reading “ HOLOTYPE ” [red label], “13 /44” [circular label], “MNHN, Paris/ ED9367,” and “ Psilota / coerulea / n. sp. Macq.”, and appears to be the specimen that Macquart originally described. This specimen is herewith designated lectotype and has so been labeled. The specimen has been badly eaten by dermestids, with only parts of the thorax and a fragment in a genitalia vial remaining.

Likewise, the original description of Merodon muscaeformis is based on a female in BMNH and labeled “Type” [green circular label], “Muscae,” “VDL [Van Dieman’s Land]” and “ Merodon / muscaeformis / Wlk” [in E. E. Austen’s handwriting]. This specimen is herewith designated lectotype and has been so labeled.


Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Canberra City, CSIRO, Australian National Insect Collection


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Queensland Museum


Australian Museum


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes














Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846

Young, Andrew D., Skevington, Jeffrey H. & Steenis, Wouter Van 2020

Merodon muscaeformis

Walker, F. 1852: 244

Psilota coerulea Macquart, 1846: 268

Macquart, J. 1846: 268