Colour patterns of syrphidae

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Eristalis intricarius is a Batesian mimic of bumblebees (Bombus spp.). The thoracic pubescence may be orange or black, but a range of intermediates also occurs. The orange-haired form is recessive to the darker types of pattern (alleles Thor and ThD respectively); variation within the dark-haired category seems largely influenced by environmental factors such as pupal temperature. In samples from northern parts of England there were roughly equal numbers of “orange” and “dark” morphs. These morphs are not specialised mimics of individual models, but have a good general resemblance to several species of bumblebee.


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Acknowledgments.-Most of this work was done with the aid of an SRC studentship at the Genetics Department, Liverpool. I am very grateful for the critical supervision of the late Professor P. M. Sheppard.

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