Mating pairs of red milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) are not rare (they can couple for hours at a time), but I thought this couple looked cute, in a worried sort of way. The half-lidded expression is because their compound eyes are bisected by their antennae. Beautiful beetles.
Tag Archives: insect
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?
Here’s another one, albeit one with a damaged eye:
Three more photographs from my trip to Oregon, for those who like robber flies. I just love these beasties.
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.
In my years looking closely at mantids eating other insects, I’ve never seen flies getting in on the action like a wake of vultures. In other frames (not shown), flies are crawling all over the mantid’s eyes. I don’t think I’d be that tolerant.