I've spent the better part of two afternoons and nights preparing photos for BugGuide; shooting, sorting, selecting, cleaning up, resizing, renaming. And then deciding they're not good enough, and starting another shooting session. My eyes are burnt out, and applying for personal time off.
I soaked the fly in hand sanitizer to soften it*, and photographed it between two sheets of glass in the goop. Most of the photos were totally unusable, but by putting the light behind it, and off to the side, I got a few shots passable for identification purposes. I hope.
It was just too bad that all my sheets of available glass were so badly scratched; I spent hours removing scratches and pretty bubbles of air stuck in the goop from the background. I left the ones in and between the legs of the fly itself.
|This photo is the only one of hundreds that showed the halteres clearly. They're a different shape than I expected.|
|Silhouette, showing venation of the wings. The fly is 4.5 mm long.|
And now I'm too tired to finish the job by filling in the BugGuide forms. I'm going to bed. There's always tomorrow.
*I used a variation of Dragonfly Woman's method. I didn't heat the sanitizer long enough, hence the air bubbles visible inside the legs and the ones I had to remove from the background.