Shore Fly - "Brine Fly"   (four photos)
Genus Ephydridae

shore fly orgy
Shore Fly gathering in early February (around 60 degrees) on Antelope Island.
I'm sure this was or will turn into an orgy. Lots of shore flies popping up from
the bushes all over the island today.  Carol Davis 2-8-2017

brine fly
I had never seen these little Shore Flies up close until today.  I got out of my car on this cold February morning on
Antelope Island to look at the gorgeous blue sky caused from a recent storm and I noticed at my feet there were
tiny flies hopping on the sand.  They never flew away even though they had wings.  I took a few pictures and left to
see if I could find more of these or ANY other insect on the island.  It was about 42 degrees outside but the sun was
strong because the wind had whipped away all the pollution.  I never found any more flies or any more insects
(although I did find a spider).  Carol Davis 2-22-2011

brine fly
Shore Flies, or "Brine Flies" as we Utahns refer to them, can be seen in the warm months along the
shore of the Great Salt Lake in hordes.  Birds, like gulls, walk along the shore with their mouths open
and as they stir up the Brine Flies, they just drop into the gulls' mouths.  It's a very strange sight. You
really don't want to visit the shoreline when the flies are that thick. 
There are only two species
of Ephydridae in Utah.  I don't know which species these are.  Carol Davis 2-22-2011

brine fly
Brine Flies, although annoying, do not bite and they do provide food for birds. This gives the gulls in the area
somewhere else to gather food besides from the picnickers at Liberty Park and from the aromatic piles of
 decaying matter at the local landfills. When I submitted these pictures to for an ID, someone
commented that it would be out of season for Brine Flies.  He's going to have to take that up with the Brine
  Flies themselves; I'm only the photographer.
  And, if there's one thing I've learned from bug hunting and
from birdwatching, there's no such thing as "out of season."  If you want to ready more about Brine Flies
and Brine Shrimp that live at the Great Salt Lake, read this article.  Carol Davis 2-22-2011

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