Tag Archives: diptera

Golden-backed snipe fly

This golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus) landed in one of my bird baths and drifted around for a few minutes on the surface tension. I’m not positive, but I think I’ve seen them do this in past years, too. I wonder whether they are looking for mosquito larvae, or perhaps adults. These flies have predaceous mouthparts, so they clearly hunt something. Sure wish somebody would PCR the gut contents of these things and let me know. Anyone ever seen them take something down?

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus)

Here’s another one, albeit one with a damaged eye:

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus) with dented eye

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I donated

Just a silly little graphic I made for a friend coordinating a blood drive … with the idea that a sticker might be made for donors:


I also wrote a silly little blurb, though I’m sure the math could be improved upon:

“Some people might be hesitant to donate blood if they haven’t done it before, so I just wanted to remind everyone that they have, indeed, donated blood before: to mosquitoes. A typical mosquito (always a female, by the way) flies away with 0.001994 mL per meal, at least according to an article from 1937 on blood loss in horses.  Not so much, perhaps, but it adds up when her friends find you, too, and they do.  So you’ll donate a pint of blood after being visited by 237,212 of the little beasties.  Much easier to just sign up and be done with it in 10 minutes.  And it won’t itch when you are done!”

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Copulating robber flies, with snack

Mating robber flies (Promachus princeps, I think) on rabbitbush. Female is holding some type of cerambycid (perhaps Crossidius hirtipes), which she probably caught prior to the male approaching. I don’t think it was a nuptial gift from male (though that was my first thought). Female robber flies have been observed eating males, which are smaller, so waiting for a female with a meal is a good strategy for males who want to love and then live some more. Female robber flies with meals in hand are also less likely to resist mating attempts. Madras, Oregon.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; copulating-robber-flies

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