Definitely a nasty!

A comment made by http://missapismellifera.com made me think and gave me a challenge.  I share what I see and find beautiful in the garden; the flowers, the bumble bees, the pretty birds but I wondered if I am giving a balanced or rose-tinted view of life.

I set out to find a nasty.  But will I succeed?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the closer we get to nature the greater the  array of creatures we notice. Then our appreciation mellows and mutates without us being aware of exactly when our sensibilities started to change.

Solitary black fly Asilidae (?)

I saw these flies just a short distance away from the garden in the fields.  I think they belong to the family Asilidae (but stand ready to be corrected).  They look more like large wasps or small dragonflies.  These are predatory insects and can take smaller insects in flight.  The family includes many mimics.  Even one that can mimic a bumble bee!

Flies mating

The bristles on their legs serving here to steady themselves on the grass are also used to trap their victims and to carrying them off to be consumed in the comfort of a safe, shady spot.

Wasp-like body but different mate

There is a marked dimorphism between the male and female flies.  Who would want to be an entomologist  when there is such a difference between the male and female that if I had seen them apart I would have assumed that they were different species?

Now I wonder, have I found a nasty or does anyone like these flies?

These flies have now been identified as Dasypogon diadema by http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com.  Thank you so much Susan!

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9 thoughts on “Definitely a nasty!

  1. Erm, don’t think I dislike them Amelia. Do they bite? If so I might be inclined to dislike them. Perhaps not the prettiest of insects but fulfilling a role nonetheless; perhaps some of their prey are, in turn, nasties? And they keep those pesky entomologists on their toes as well. Dave

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  2. They look like they bite to me! But as you say there is beauty in almost all the creatures that visit our gardens; I’ll see what I can find as a nasty to post and you can set up the challenge to all bloggers and be the judge! Christina

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  3. I really enjoyed this. I completely agree with how you describe the process of becoming more aware of nature. I haven’t seen these flies over here, yet. I do not require my bugs to be pretty so I wouldn’t mind encountering these.

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  4. These look like the robberfly Dasypogon diadema and you are quite right – the first time I saw them I assumed they were different species. I love them and this species has a fascinating lifecycle. They do not bite, although I think they are physically capable of doing so.

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