Readers’ wildlife photos

If you have good photos, send them in, folks, as I’ll need a fairly good supply when I’m in Poland. Today we feature a group of pictures by Jacques Hausser called “Ugly flies”. (In my view, there’s no such thing as an ugly fly.) Jacque’s comments and notes are indented.

I submit you some ugly flies, out of fairness: why should they not share the fame provided by WEIT with so many cute mammals, birds and butterflies ? They are not responsible of their physical appearance, after all. I’m not always sure of their identification and corrections are welcome.

The hornet robber fly, Asilus crabroniformis (Asilidae). A large, predatory robber fly, eating dung beetle, among other insects. The larvae live in the cow dung.

Asilus crabroniformis

Another robber flyChoerades marginata (Asilidae):

Choerades marginata

Conops vesicularis(Conopidae). The adult is a nectar feeder, but the larvae are endoparasites of wasps. It was suggested to use this fly to fight the invasion of the asiatic hornet, Vespa velutina.

Conops vesicularis

A dance fly, Empis tesselata (Empidae). They are predatory, but everybody likes a sip of nectar, no ?

Empis tesselata

Suilia gigantea (Heleomysidae). This species lays its eggs on truffles, and is used as an indicator of these fungi: just follow the insect. I have frequently seen the fly in my garden, but I did never find a truffle…

And no, this Suillia is not worshipping the Lord of the flies.

Suilia gigantea

Here’s a video of some individuals on black truffles:

Tachina fera (Tachinidae). The adult lives on flowers (they like Asteraceae and Aipiaceae), and lay their eggs on the plants. The young larvae pierce the skin of caterpillars of various moths and develop therein as endoparasites.

Tachina fera

Tachina grossa (Tachinidae). One of the largest fly of Europe (15-19 mm), with the same way of life as the previous one.

Tachina grossa


  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I think flies have cute feet!

  2. Dominic
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Lovely flies! 🙂
    I have some for PCC[E]… must sort them…

  3. Dominic
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Come on botanists! Identify the flowers as well – the empid is on a species of Scabious – I do not know which…

  4. Posted July 19, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Nice to learn something about the diverse lives of flies! Thanks Jacques and PCC(E).

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Excellent work, Jacques! Your pictures are always a welcome treat for me. I often get ideas from you about the possible genera of some insects that I have, and, once again I have taken some notes.

  6. Jim Knight
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Your close-up photography is VERY good! I never get those results. Thanks for sharing them.

  7. Posted July 19, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen more enchanting Ugly Flies! Merci, Jacques.

  8. Posted July 19, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I suspect that insects developing inside the living body of other insects gave the idea of the movie Alien.

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