Monday, 25 May 2015

Sniper vs Robber

Bank holiday Monday was livened up late on by the discovery of a couple of interesting Diptera in the garden. The first was on the outside wall of the kitchen, I was fortunately coming back from doing some sweep netting on Novers Hills so my net was on hand to quickly catch it.

A quick look in the pot revealed a wonderful looking fly, large with a distinctive posture on long stilit-like legs, a colourful orange body and distinctive wing pattern. It did not take too long to narrow it down to one of the Rhagionidae - Snipe flies. The distincytive posture, body colour and wing markings help to identify this as a Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus. This is a wonderful fly, with mouthparts designed for piercing the smaller insects that it predates.

Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus

Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus

Later on this evening I found another fly sitting motionless on the Marsh Marigold in our new pond. I was very excited, I knew immediately that it was one of the Robberflys, the Asilidae. This is a family that I have been really wanting to see, basically because they are just fabulous insects. The fly sat motionless for several minutes, allowing me to get some pictures. Having had a good look and comparing my pictures to ID resources, I was able to confidently identify this as a Stripe-legged Robberfly Dioctria baumhauri.

Stripe-legged Robberfly Dioctria baumhauri

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