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. The phylogenetic position of I. scutellaris in the Family Syrphidae was only determined confidently in 2018

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. By looking similar to bees or wasps that stingssting, hover flies may deter potential predators. Hover flies have one pair of wings, with “the other pair” modified into balancing organs known as halteres

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Life cycle and associated biology in each stage

Hover flies are holometabolous insects, meaning their life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult

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There is currently no literature on host plants and prey items of I. scutellaris in Singapore. However, records of such information from India may aid in understanding or predicting the species’ biology in Singapore as both countries experience tropical climate conditions.

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Pupal stage

The pupal stage of I. scutellaris ranges from 4 to 12 days

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Footnote Macro

Alfiler, A. R. R. & Calilung, V. J. (1978). The life-history and voracity of the Syrphid predator, Ischiodon scutellaris (F.) (Diptera: Syrphidae). Philippine Entomologist4(1/2), 105-117. 

. This species of Ichneumonid ichneumonid wasp is an endoparasite, where the female will oviposit in the egg or larvae (1st or 2nd instar) of the host organism and the adult parasitoid wasp will emerge from the pupa of the host organism

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Despite morphological similarity, hover flies and bees/wasps belong to different insect taxa. Hover flies can be easily distinguished from bees and wasps based on the antennae or number of paired wings and antennae. Bees or wasps have longer antennae than hover flies. In addition, bees or wasps have two pairs of wings while hover flies have one pair of wings, with “the other pair” modified into balancing organs known as halteres. In addition, wasps have longer antennae than hover flies

Footnote Macro

Gullan, P. J., & Cranston, P. S. (2014). The insects: An outline of entomology (Fifth ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Ischiodon scutellaris may be distinguished from I. astales and I. feae by having a short calcar (refer to Figure 10) on the metatrochanter, and from I. aegyptius by having symmetrical claws in all legs

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Back to the 2008 phylogenetic study, the tree branch containing I. scutellaris had a Bremer support value of 2, suggesting that the phylogenetic position of the species is not confident. However, its sister group is still consistent with what was found in the 2018 phylogenetic study (Figure 12).

Figure 12. Most parsimonious tree with Bremer support values indicated above branch.

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Why is the phylogenetic position of I. scutellaris confident in the phylogenetic study in 2018 but not in 2008? Some possible reasons may include number of taxon samplestaxa, number of genes sequenced, the alignment method or the optimality criteria used for the phylogenetic analysis (Table 1). 

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