Fly-day

Let’s see, I’ve had a spider-day, a frog-day, and a snake-day.  Seems like it is high time for Fly-day!  TGIF and all.

Anyway, it is good timing, as I am covered in mosquito bites right now after being eaten alive on a 20 km hike.  I’m terribly allergic to mosquitoes, sadly, and I have several bites that swelled to the size of chicken eggs (I occasionally get one the size of a goose egg, but it is less common).  While I miserably try not to scratch my bites, I thought I would try to remember some good things about the order Diptera (to which mozzies and other flies belong), instead of wishing the vast diversity of flies to vanish off the Earth (which would actually be terrible, but you know how it is when you are covered in mozzie bites).

There were also some excellent fly posts over at Garden Walk, Garden Talk this week, so check them out (one and two)! Or you could visit the great insect photographer Mark Berkery to see his amazing photos.

Or, you know, you could…maybe…hang out with me here…?

The Syrphid flies (or hover flies) are flower visitors as adults, but their young are parasites on other insects.

The Syrphid flies (or hover flies) are delicate flower visitors as adults, but in some species, their larvae prey on pest insects like thrips and aphids.  I love it when they treat anthers like tea cups.

The diagnostic character of this family is the spurious vein in the wing.

The diagnostic character of this family is the spurious vein in the wing.

The Rhagionidae (snipe flies) are predators and blood drinkers.

The Rhagionidae (snipe flies) are predators and blood drinkers.

The long-legged flies of the family Dolichopodidae are sometimes nice and shiny.  There are about 7,000 species of long-legged flies!

The long-legged flies of the family Dolichopodidae are sometimes nice and shiny. There are about 7,000 species of long-legged flies!

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Tabanids (horse flies) like this guy are nothing but trouble.

Tabanids (horse flies) like this guy are nothing but trouble, but they often have pretty wings.

Trichopoda, of the Tachinidae.  I like their bright orange bums!

Trichopoda (feather legged fly), of the Tachinidae. I like their bright orange bums!

Yesss...

Yesss…

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Everybody likes flowers.

Everybody likes flowers.

I tend to not appreciate flies enough.  They are all hairy and bristley under the microscope, and I don’t think they are nearly as pretty as Hymenopterans (bees, ants, and wasps), to which I have a clear bias.

Aw, don't be shy blue bottle (Calliphoridae), I didn't mean what I said!

Aw, don’t be shy blue bottle (Calliphoridae), I didn’t mean what I said!

My favourite family of flies, the Bombyliidae.  The adults are fuzzy harmless flower visitors, but the larvae are voracious parasites on other insects.

My favourite family of flies, the Bombyliidae. The adults are fuzzy harmless flower visitors, but the larvae are voracious parasites on other insects.

Aw, I guess I’m coming around after all!

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6 thoughts on “Fly-day

  1. Thanks for linking. You have such a variety of well photographed flies in this post. My favorite is the last, fuzzy one too. I only ever saw them twice here. I like the wings on the black fly (green background) too. The horse fly, been bitten by enough of them to never want to see one again. The long-legged flies are tiny and hard to photograph. I have one in my ‘modelling post’ coming up. It has pretty green eyes and really slender legs.

  2. Pingback: Two Robber Flies | standingoutinmyfield

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