Brachyopn conica Panzer is a name that appears commonly in works on European Syrphidae. The name is invalid and has been incorrectly applied to at least three different species. The valid name for this species is panzeri Goffe and applies to an as yet unrecognized species. The occurrence and solution of similar taxonomic and nomenclatural problems are discussed. A key to the Palaearctic species of Brachyopa is given. Brachyopa maculipennis Thompson, nov. nomen, is proposed for arcuata Panzer.