Tag Archives: insect

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 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? Also, I’m assuming they’re named snipe flies because they resemble snipes (the birds), but always questioned that because maybe they hunt by sniping (hiding, then leaping out). Again, anyone?

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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Copulating robber flies, with snack

Two rather large (almost 2″) robber flies mating on rabbitbrush in Madras, Oregon.  Male has a longhorn beetle (perhaps Crossidius hirtipes?) as a nuptial gift. I don’t know the species, unfortunately.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Copulating robber flies

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Yellowjacket hover fly

Saw this fly ovipositing onto a recently toppled tree, in Clayton Park, New Jersey.  Pretty sure it’s Milesia virginiensis (Diptera), the yellowjacket hover fly.  It was large enough, though, to gave me pause for a few seconds.  Syrphids I’m familiar with are much smaller, and never really register as wasps.  A rather convincing mimic.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Yellowjacket hover fly ovipositing

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