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