Friday, July 31, 2015

Stained glass wings

Aren't these wings  pretty?

Wood gnat, Sylvicola sp.

The fly, about a quarter of an inch long, turned up in my kitchen. His thorax was nicely striped, and the wings looked interesting, so I captured him. But he didn't like captivity, even after a calming rest in the fridge; never stopped racing around and around, upside-down on the glass I'd covered his container with. I finally gave up trying to get a head shot, or see if he had halteres or not, to show that he was a true fly, let alone see those stripes on the back. I lifted the glass a crack, and let him escape.

And he flew directly to the flashlight I was using as a side light, and stood there, posing for me.

And yes, I can see the halteres, one on either side, where the second pair of wings would be if he weren't a fly.

I sent his photos in to BugGuide, where they identified him as a Wood Gnat, genus Sylvicola. These flies live in damp areas, eating decaying plant matter. There's not much of that around here, this dry, dry summer, except in my compost bin. Maybe this one came inside to check out the source of all the goodies.

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