Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mystery beastie: still a bit mysterious

So, what did that "Hairy Butt" (Thanks, Dawn!) belong to?


Thanks for guessing, y'all! And Slaadi got as close as I could, identifying it as a Blow-fly, or Calliphorid.

The clue that identifies it as a fly is the pair of halteres: look between the belly and the last pair of legs; see the two little yellowish balls on stems? Those are what flies have instead of the second pair of wings. Other flying insects, like bees and wasps, for example, have two pair.

How Slaadi decided on blow-flies, I don't know. I had the same opinion, but I had an advantage; I'd seen the whole fly. It looked, from where I could see it on my window, like one of the black and blue flies that hang around our rhododendrons:

It sort of looked like this.

So, Slaadi; tell us. What did you see that said, "Calliphorid", rather than "Muscid", or something similar?

I've sent the photo in to BugGuide. I don't know if they can do any better, with just an underbelly. But I've been surprised by them in the past; they're amazing!


  1. slaadi2:29 am

    Heh. The reason I thought it was a Calliphorid was basically because it is wide and hairy! :P

    Also the colouring, pattern and shape are similar to many of the local blow-flies I see pretty much every day here in Western Australia. I could just as easily have guessed Sarcophagid though, which is what I believe the fly sitting on your rhododendrons is, mostly because of the black and white stripes on the thorax.

    Of course both of these guesses could be completely wrong, you can't easily tell unless you get up real close and personal with a microscope :)

  2. Thanks! I see what you mean about stripes; I didn't really notice them since I was worrying about the flashy blue colour that the camera didn't do justice to.

    "Wide and hairy!" I'll remember that technical description. :)

  3. slaadi3:33 am

    In that case, if it is actually a metallic blue colour then it's most likely a Calliphorid :)

  4. I am in awe of you guys. I never ever would have guessed a fly. You are amazing!!! This is why I love your blog so much, Susannah!!!


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