I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Thursday 14 July 2016

A SAD STORY. (14/07/16)

There wasn’t much around on our first walk as we experienced heavy rain late yesterday and overnight. I went looking for Snake Flies under hogweed umbrels but all I found were these flies on a couple of plants. These are not Snake flies and I am doubtful whether they are Dance flies as the female seems to be the one with the silk glands on the front legs and I thought it was the other way round. TREVOR is rarely wrong and must spend hours in the library bus looking at the insects I have posted and correcting my guesses; many thanks Trevor. I love taking the pictures but though identification is often obvious when it’s been pointed out I have great difficulty picking the correct reference image myself. These flies are tiny, they are not even the size of a Hogweed petal so I would estimate them to be three millimetres long or slightly shorter._V0G0154
_V0G0158 These poor little creatures are dying from infestation by the Entomophaga fungus. It is a very cunning form of life as it manages to persuade the host to climb to the top of plants where the fungal spores can be distributed by the breeze.  I didn’t manage to find an unaffected fly but perhaps I was looking too high up. The first two are males, the forked thing on it’s bum is it’s willy; the last is a female.
The Dogs knocked a piece of bark off a log whilst hunting a Shrew so for those that have never looked at a Woodlouse through a magnifying glass here are a couple of snaps.
Now as promised here are a couple of larger flies.
A male Greenbottle, Lucilia sp.

A male Hoverfly I’m going to go for Eupeodes corollae.
Another don’t know but I like the look of this one. Possibly a Dance Fly Empis livida. It is a very confusing business for someone with a brain the size of a fly.


  1. Incredible detail, gorgeous colours on some of these. Well done!

    1. Marie, although the flash freezes the motion it does take practise to get and keep them in focus. How these folk go on using a tripod I don't know.

  2. Definitely not Snakeflies Adrian, sorry for sending you in the wrong direction, I didn't realise how tiny they are. Given their size, I've got another suggestion!!...Black Scavenger/Ensign Flies...Family Sepsidae..maybe?!

    Now you're getting into another minefield with Hoverfly ID's...there's many small differences that need to be taken into account when sorting them out..it can sometimes be down to a strategically placed couple of hairs, the colour of the face, antenna, legs etc.
    Given the 'clean' face (Eupeodes have various dark markings on the face)and the black band at the top of the yellow legs I'm going to guess(?) at Epistophe grossulariae for this one.

    The last one I reckon is a Robberfly, difficult to say which though.

    A good tip I was once told by someone I met while out 'Bugging'...to help with IDing you should try and take at least three photos of the subject - top, side and face...and more is always best!

    I cut a sad figure huddled in the corner of that library bus!...[;o)

    1. Just had another look and I think you're right...Dance Fly...Empis tessellata?

      I need to lay down now!...[;o{

    2. Trevor I think I will redo the scales to superimpose on the image. They are a big help when trying to identify small creatures as until I've taken the shot I can't really see any detail.
      Some hoverflies are easy but the bee and wasp mimics are difficult.
      I agree Empis tessellata it is and for once over half is in focus.
      One shot is an achievement three or four would be a miracle. lots of frog Hoppers about but they keep hopping. the annoying thing is they stay still long enough for me to focus then hop.
      It is all good fun.

    3. Not a problem with the snake flies but I don't think there are any round here. I've had a good search. I did find another Green Lace Wing but still haven't got a picture. Maybe tomorrow before the heavens open.

    4. Adrian, the problem with taking lots of shots is sorting them out afterwards...I went out yesterday..350 shots, and today...400 shots, ...Bees, Hovers, Moths, Flies, Butterflies, Beetles, etc, etc,..then there's the ones from last week!

      If I get around to sorting them I might even do a post!!...[;o{

    5. Trevor, I think I've had a busy day if I shoot thirty. Most days it's between half a dozen and a dozen of which about 25% go in the bin.

  3. I like the greenbottles and although I don't know one fly from another I think that last image is just lovely.

  4. Pauline, Yes I am happy with the Dance fly. I think I have the job sorted at long last now to find some really pretty beasts.

  5. "But that lucky old sun has nothing to do but roam around heaven all day." I wish.