Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 31st, 2011

A pretty fly

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A tiny fly taking nectar from a sunflower; click for more detail.

As I was photographing the young sunflower shown in yesterday’s post, a tiny yellowish-tan fly landed on it. Lost in thought, or whatever condition an insect is in when it works on a wildflower, this pretty fly paid no attention to me as I focused on it rather than on the sunflower while I kept taking pictures. Had this sunflower not survived the mowing, there would have been less in the field to sustain the fly and other insects that likely also paid visits there.

In the enlargement below you can better see that the fly has a bit of pollen on its “beak,” or proboscis. Also notice the pattern of cells on the fly’s compound eyes.

Update: in a comment below, Sarah suggested that I submit a picture of this unknown (to me) fly to bugguide.net for identification. In less than an hour someone identified it as Poecilognathus, which is a genus of what are called bee flies because of their resemblance to bees.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2011 at 7:00 AM

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