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Syrphidae handbook, Coe, 1953.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject: Syrphidae handbook, Coe, 1953. Reply with quote

Diptera, Syrphidae, Coe, R.L., 1953. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 10(1): 1-98.

Published by the Royal Entomological Society.

This was the standard identification guide to British hoverflies until it was superceded by "British Hoverfles" (Stubbs & Falk, 1983). Those of us who started their careers in hoverflies using this key probably don't remember the experience too happily. This was a very technical key, sparsely illustrated and difficult to use! Like many of the early Handbooks, it assumed you were based in a museum and had access to a decent microscope and comparitive material from the collection. In particular, almost all the Syrphinae are placed in the genus Syrphus and the key goes on for 16 pages. This made my early attempts to identify some of the commonest and most familiar species a real trial. It must have put many people of Syrphidae!

It remains occasionally useful for some of the illustrations, especially of male genetalia in difficult genera. Long out of print, but can be found second hand.
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