Monday, October 17, 2005
This is a mangled specimen. I have been identifying insects caught on sticky traps for Mugu and the Institute of the Environment and this poor devil was a mess. Also, I have never come across this animal at Mugu on sticky traps nor sweep nets nor Malaise traps. I was stumped!! So, I asked a wonderful entomologist friend to help me out and he said it was in the family of Chloropidae.
Chloropidae. It is one of the very few I have ever seen at Mugu with so very little coloring in its exoskeleton. The haltare was turquoise simply because of the thickness of it tissues. The face was triangular, and it seemed to have a eyespot on its 'forehead.' The femur of its back leg was thick and it had stripes on the dorsal side of its thorax.
One website from Cedarcreek said it was a grass fly that liked to buzz around eyes and wounds. Another said it liked aphids. The three specimens I found on sticky traps were peppered with aphids. In fact, there were more aphids then thirps this season. And, there were more parasitic wasps then from other years.
Could have the storm events of last spring changed the configuration and abundances in the Mugu insects?
Here is a much better picture of this Meromyza sp..
I have been counting and sorting insect traps and worms from core samples of the soils from Mugu. This is the hard part. Collecting is the easy part. I love collecting and walking and finding new animals.....