Monday, September 5, 2016

Soldier fly

Ever seen one of these? Stunning, right? The green immediately caught my eye. Plus, the insect was new to me. That's why, as soon as I spotted it nectaring on our Texas kidneywood yesterday evening, I had to run for my camera! 

After a little Internet sleuthing, I learned that this is a soldier fly, perhaps Odontomyia cincta. Soldier flies lay their eggs on the edges of water, and the larvae stick the tips of their abdomens up through the water surface to get air. The soldier fly family name of Stratiomyidae refers to the insect's bold markings that resemble a military uniform.  

In the meantime, I requested an ID on It wasn't long before expert Ken W. placed my photo of this fly with the tribe Stratiomyini

Here's more information on a related species, the black soldier fly.  

All eyes
All legs
Thought I'd throw in a photo of a bee working on a velvet-leaf mallow bloom. She's loaded down with pollen.

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