Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two syrphid flies

with 11 comments

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The last time you saw a syrphid fly here was about a month ago, in a picture of one with large red eyes on an agarita flower. On March 21, as I was walking along a trail in McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin, I got down low to photograph some spiderworts. It was only then that I noticed these double-decker syrphid flies, which were at most a third of an inch long. I never saw any motion from the smaller fly on top, but the one on the bottom kept busily working away at the anthers of the spiderwort. From time to time this Atlas of a syrphid fly flew to a different location on the flower, carrying its impassive but impassioned mate along with it.

I though you might find this picture of two flies fooling around appropriate for April Fool’s Day. No fooling.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2012 at 5:38 AM

11 Responses

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  1. It really is the perfect shot for April Fool’s Day. You have to wonder how the image fools us. I mean maybe it’s a simple matter of hitching a ride or … Steve, it really made me smile, Sally

    lensandpensbysally

    April 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    • I’m glad you found the picture perfect for April Fool’s Day, Sally. Somehow I doubt the smaller fly was just hitching a ride, but what do I know about syrphid behavior?

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

  2. ah, splendor in the grass!

    weisserwatercolours

    April 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

  3. We grow, partially willingly and partially not, Spiderwort along our driveway and in the backyard and the surest way to find a Syrphid is to look for them hovering over the purple blooms. And are they ever amorous. Nice capture of this behavior Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    April 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    • It’s good that you confirmed their amorous behavior. Sally (above) was wondering.

      Now that I’m aware of syrphid flies, I see them on many kinds of flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

  4. Explosion de couleurs et de douceur.
    Je pense que cette mouche n’est pas taxi, mais amoureuse, c’est plus agréable à penser 😉

    lancoliebleue

    April 2, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    • L’ancolie bleue [the blue columbine] writes: “Explosion of colors and softness. I think this fly isn’t a taxi, but amorous; that’s nicer to think about.”

      J’ai entendu parler des bateaux-mouches, mais jamais d’une mouche taxi, alors tu dois avoir raison.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2012 at 6:46 AM

  5. Beautiful XXX bug shot! Yes, she must continue on “doing her work,” as he relaxes and enjoys himself on her back. Sheesh. Steve, I just love your insect photos. So glad you get up and personal! You should submit that to http://www.whatsthatbug.com/tag/bug-love/. Keep it up.

    Shannon

    April 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    • You’re not the first person to comment on some of my photos being up close and personal, but you are the first to give one of my posts a triple-X rating.

      I post insect photos here when good ones come my way; it’s easier to get good flower pictures because flowers can and do blow in the wind but they can’t fly away altogether. Thanks for the link to What’s That Bug.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

  6. […] early in the field trip, but fortunately it didn’t last long. If you’d like to compare the color of the kind of spiderwort I’m used to seeing in Austin, you can, and as a bonus there’s a pair of double-decker syrphid flies in it for […]


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