Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flower Fly

The drive in to work this morning. A cold and blustery 50 degrees, with plenty of rain. This weather spells the end of a huge chunk of our insects, and field entomology will have to largely go on hiatus till we see winter through.

Yesterday was warmer, sunnier, and buggier. Once again, I had my Nikon handy and took a brief stroll around the grounds outside my office.

Plenty of pollinators were still working over the shale-barren asters, including this little lovely. Should you not be into the finer nuances of insects, you could be forgiven for thinking this wee beast a bee or other stinging hymemopteran. It's just - just - a fly, but one that does a remarkable job of mimicry, even to the point of twitching and flexing its abdomen in the manner of some stinging insects.

There are scores of "flower flies", and I believe this one is Syrphus ribesii, but if you know better please do tell. I have long been charmed by the magic of flies. The group sometimes wrongly gets tarred because of house flies and other somewhat pestiferous species, but most flies are striking upon inspection and perform valuable services to our ecosystem.

Flies, collectively, are an enormous group of pollinators and I suspect much of our natural world would collapse were they not out there weaving their magic. Besides, they look cool, act cool, and if you are armed with a decent macro lens, you'll find flies an endless source of photographic fascination.

1 comment:

Jim Dolan said...

Nice shots Jim.