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Posts Tagged: syrphid fly

Henrietta and the Drone Fly: The Predator and the Prey

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, perches on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). She is as patient as she is persistent. The drone fly, aka syrphid and also known as a hover fly or flower fly, makes the fatal mistake of touching down on...

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Food Yard & Garden

The Frit and the Fly: Who Wins?

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims

The Frit and the fly...or the butterfly and the fly... That would be the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and the syrphid fly (family Syrphidae), aka flower fly or hover fly. They meet on a beautiful autumn day on an equally beautiful...

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims
The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims "This Mexican sunflower is occupied." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims "This Mexican sunflower is occupied." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Maybe if come around from a different direction!" the fly seems to say. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Maybe if come around from a different direction!" the fly seems to say. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Ah, all mine!" proclaims the fly. "I scared off the butterfly." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Ah, all mine!" proclaims the fly. "I scared off the butterfly." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Musical Flowers: Jockeying for Position

A black syrphid fly aims for the same Mexican sunflower, occupied by another syprhid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You've heard of "musical chairs," that anxiety-driven elimination game involving chairs, music and players.  When the music stops and a chair is eliminated, the players race for the remaining seats. No one wants to be the first loser. Well,...

A black syrphid fly aims for the same Mexican sunflower, occupied by another syprhid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A black syrphid fly aims for the same Mexican sunflower, occupied by another syprhid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A black syrphid fly aims for the same Mexican sunflower, occupied by another syprhid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm outta here! The hover fly (probably Eristalis tenax) lifts off. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I'm outta here! The hover fly (probably Eristalis tenax) lifts off. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm outta here! The hover fly (probably Eristalis tenax) lifts off. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not giving up and still jockeying for position, the two hover flies try to claim the same flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Not giving up and still jockeying for position, the two hover flies try to claim the same flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not giving up and still jockeying for position, the two hover flies try to claim the same flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ah, all mine. A black hover fly or Mexican cactus fly claims a Tithonia blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ah, all mine. A black hover fly or Mexican cactus fly claims a Tithonia blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ah, all mine. A black hover fly or Mexican cactus fly claims a Tithonia blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The Lady Beetle and the Syrphid Fly

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So, here I am, an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) perched on a rose bush in Vacaville, Calif., as dawn breaks. I'm eating  aphids and minding my own beetle business, which consists of gobbling aphids and more aphids. And more aphids. Did I say...

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.
Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.

"Let's try this again! I'm coming in. Wait, turn around, will ya!" Syrphid fly caught in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM

Sharing the Nectar--But Not All at the Same Time

A syrphid fly (bottom right) heads toward a Mexican sunflower occupied by a honey bee. The fly, aka hover fly and flower fly, wants some nectar, too.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Everybody eats in the pollinator garden. Maybe not at the same time, but they all eat. We noticed a syrphid fly, aka flower fly/hover fly, heading toward a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in our pollinator garden. Alas for the fly, it was occupied....

A syrphid fly (bottom right) heads toward a Mexican sunflower occupied by a honey bee. The fly, aka hover fly and flower fly, wants some nectar, too.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid fly (bottom right) heads toward a Mexican sunflower occupied by a honey bee. The fly, aka hover fly and flower fly, wants some nectar, too.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid fly (bottom right) heads toward a Mexican sunflower occupied by a honey bee. The fly, aka hover fly and flower fly, wants some nectar, too.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Can we share? As the honey bee keeps nectaring, the syrphid comes in for a taste. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Can we share? As the honey bee keeps nectaring, the syrphid comes in for a taste. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Can we share? As the honey bee keeps nectaring, the syrphid comes in for a taste. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! The honey bee wins. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
All mine! The honey bee wins. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! The honey bee wins. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! The syprhid fly takes over. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
All mine! The syprhid fly takes over. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! The syprhid fly takes over. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! A drone fly claims it. The drone fly is often mistaken for a bee. Note the
All mine! A drone fly claims it. The drone fly is often mistaken for a bee. Note the "H" on the abdomen of the fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All mine! A drone fly claims it. The drone fly is often mistaken for a bee. Note the "H" on the abdomen of the fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:36 PM
Tags: drone fly (2), Halloween (1), honey bee (3), insects (1), Mexican sunflower (4), nectar (1), syrphid fly (18), Tithonia (3)

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