Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

Strathcona is buggy. Right now, the place is swarming with cross spiders, mostly tiny, mostly with webs built right across pathways. At face level, as often as not.

But this afternoon, I saw this creature:

A long, skinny wasp-like fly, or fly-like wasp. I haven't had time to look it up, yet. (We're on vacation, Laurie reminds me.)

It attracted my attention because it was hopping up and down in a flowerbed. I couldn't see if it was just stretching those lo-o-ong legs and contracting them, or actually jumping off the ground. Whichever it was, it was raising and lowering itself a couple of inches, fast, maybe a couple or three "jumps" per second. It stayed mostly in the same place, until I moved in too close to it with the camera and flash. Then it went to hide under a leaf, came out the other side and began the "jumping" again.

I caught it with a face-on view, before it gave up and left. I've cropped off the legs, to zero in on the face. Here it is, toe-to-toe:

You can see one rear leg clearly; it ends on that dry leaf at the top of the photo.

I wonder why it was jumping like that. Trying to attract a mate? Trying to lose weight? (Not that it needs to; it looks anorexic.) (I know, I'm being silly. I'm on vacation; it's allowed.)



  1. Definitely a fly - there's only one pair of wings. Specifically, it's some form of crane fly (Tipuloidea), but I must say that I've never seen one so brightly coloured before.

  2. Thanks, Christopher.

    Crane fly it is. But I searched all of BugGuide's crane flies, and couldn't find a match. I'll send this one in to them, see what they say.


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