Flyday: Dance fly

…or as I would’ve called them: Monster fly. If I had to create a monster for a horror movie, I would definitely use this fly for inspiration. But I guess it’s not nice to call a creature a monster based on looks, so dance fly as a common name it is. It got the name because the males dance during mating season. Like true gentlemen, male dance flies also carry a gift for the females (a dead insect, the equivalent of chocolate in flies). I guess they have a romantic side to them!

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This particular fellow’s Latin name is Empis livida. The most remarkable feature, its long snout (proboscis), is used for sucking on other insects and for feeding on nectar. In this species, the difference between male and female lies in the colouration of the wings. Females have clear wings, whereas male wings are darker. It’s not visible in this picture, but this one is a male. It was really hard to get good pictures, since he was busy moving around to suck nectar from the forget-me-not flowers (Myosotis sp.) in the garden. Even though these are not my best pictures, I enjoyed following this guy around for a bit.

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