Drone Fly   (four photos)
Family -
Syrphidae
Species Eristalis tenax

drone fly
This drone fly in Taylorsville seemed to be in a coma while I was taking its picture.  When I was using my small camera, it didn't
seem to mind but when I brought out my larger camera--ZOOM--it was outa there! It reminded me of my brothers who used
to pose for family photos with their tongues sticking out.  What drones!  © Carol Davis, 6-4-2009


female drone fly
This is a female Drone Fly in the Syrphid Fly family.  People (including me), often mistake them for honey bees.
Notice the beautiful wing
structure. All flies or bees have varying wing venation and this can aid in identification.  Larvae of the drone fly feed on decaying matter in
swamps or any other stagnant water they can find.  According to Bugguide-net, the larvae (called rat-tailed maggots) have
special breathing apparatus since there is little oxygen in still water.  Maggots with snorkels--just one more
outstanding reason not to drink questionable water...  (
Thanks to North Carolina State University for a fine
article
on rat-tailed maggots) © Carol Davis, 11-30-2008

male drone fly
This is a male Drone Fly.  According to Bugguide.net, these flies have two rows of vertical hairs on their eyes.
Good thing they don't have eyelids or that could get a little tricky (talk about having an eyelash in your eye!) These
drone flies were braving 52-degree temperatures and were just about the only ones I saw gathering pollen from the
few remaining
blooming rabbitbrush.  The last day of November is not your normal time for seeing pollinators.
This same day I saw many Alfalfa Looper moths, a few Checkered White butterflies, a Dung Fly eating one of
 just oodles of tiny nameless black flies, two other Syrphid Fly species, a few caterpillars, a Phidippus Audax
spider, a Wolf Spider, a Crab Spider and an Ashy Gray Ladybug. I call these insects and spiders the
hardiest of the hardy. © Carol Davis, 11-30-2008

hairs on the eyes of a drone fly
In this flash-enhanced photo you can see the hairs on the eyes.

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