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Tag: fly

First Insect Photo of the Year!

First Insect Photo of the Year!

Yesterday was a glorious day weather-wise, and I got my first insect photo of the year!  This fly was on one of my rhododendrons in the backyard. The first thing I noticed was its huge eyes.  It also has small curved antennae that I see on many different kinds of flies.  The abdomen (the back segment) is very thin and striped, and the thorax (middle segment) is dark.  This looks similar to an Elongate Aphid Fly, or Elongate Flower Fly…

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Bee Mimic

Bee Mimic

This insect was flying around the Beach Daisies this week.  At first glance it looks like a bee.  Is it? I don’t think so.  Like this hover fly and this robber fly, this fly has developed bee-like markings for protection.  Other creatures might steer clear of it thinking that it can sting.  But it can’t. How do we know it’s a fly?  For one, the short antennae sticking out of the front of its head are a good clue.  This…

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Colorful Fly

Colorful Fly

Yes, flies can be disgusting creatures.  But if you catch them in the right light, some of them can look quite nice.  Like this one for example. I can’t identify it- its lighter colored body and legs are a mystery to me.  But, like all flies, this one has two main wings unlike most other insects which have four. According to Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Arthur V. Evans, flies are important pollinators (second only…

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Disgustingly Common

Disgustingly Common

WARNING – one photo below is sort of gross… SOURCE: Most of the below information came from The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders, including the direct quotes. Flies are everywhere.  We see them almost everyday and often inside of our own homes.  Have you ever stopped to take a closer look?  Unfortunately, when we DO take a closer look it gets gross fast! But wait- here is a very familiar sight, the common House Fly.  They…

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Something Happened Here…

Something Happened Here…

WARNING – the photos in this post might seem a bit disgusting to some readers, especially if you are squeamish about vomit and half-eaten critters.  Consider yourself forewarned! This past weekend there was a mess on the sidewalk in front of our neighbor’s house.  This was pile #1.  The ants have obviously already gotten to it and are looking for food to bring back to their home.  The big white curved shapes look like bones of some sort- I’m not…

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Grasshopper Too Curious

Grasshopper Too Curious

This grasshopper (or maybe katydid) got a bit too curious.  I’m not exactly sure how it got into this position, but my Venus Flytrap closed on its head.  When a flytrap closes, it continues to tighten if something inside is moving around- otherwise it slowly opens up again over a few hours.  It takes a lot of energy for a flytrap to close, so triggering it on purpose with your finger or a stick is not good for the plant…

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A bee, or not a bee?

A bee, or not a bee?

At first glance, this creature might look like a type of bee.  But, it is actually a fly- a bulb fly to be exact.  Why a “bulb” fly?  This insect lays its eggs near the soil surface where a flowering bulb is growing (like daffodils- in fact another name for this insect is a Narcissus Bulb Fly because Narcissus is the scientific name for daffodils).  The larvae then hatch and dig into the bulb where they live and grow until…

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Snakefly – neither a snake nor a fly!

Snakefly – neither a snake nor a fly!

This snakefly was taking a break from munching on other insects and caterpillars to rest on this dandelion.  Snakeflies are only found in the West, so if you are an Easterner you will have to come out here to see one.  Interestingly, they move very slowly and are not hard to catch- but be careful not to squish them!  According to one scientist at UC-Irvine, they are one of only two groups of insects than can run backwards at full…

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