Aug 20, 2008

Fly On The Wall

Here's another bug ID challenge for you. I've never seen something so metallic and clockwork looking, but that's probably just from the glare of the flash. I'm thinking it's a variant on the robber fly. Or, it's possibly a secret government experiment that escaped from the lab, Project: Fly On The Wall (Surveillance Division). Which reminds me, has anyone seen the new X-Files movie?

Thanks for the photo, Alejandro.

UPDATE: Neil and Kyla have identified this as a
hippoboscid, to which the flat fly, louse fly, and feather fly belong). They're closely related to the dreaded tse tse fly. And good luck swatting them. Not only are they lightning-fast, but they're resistant to being squashed (a trait more bugs should do well to learn).


Neil said...

Nice! I think it's a lousefly (family Hippoboscidae) maybe a pigeon louse fly Pseudolynchia based on comparison with this photo:

Bug Guide louse fly

This is the in the same family as the infamous TseTse fly that transmits sleeping sickness. Louse flies use their strong legs to grip on to their host, and are among the only insects to gestate their young internally!

As usual with insects truth is stranger than the X-files.

Kyla said...

Damn! Beaten again! Yeah, it's a hippoboscid (flat fly, louse fly, feather fly). They're ectoparasites of fur and feathers, and if you've tried to swat them, they're impossible to flatten.
P.S. Tsetse flies are in family glossinidae, not hippoboscidae, but they are very closely related.

Neil said...

Doh! That's right, both are in same superfamily, hippoboscoidea. Thanks for setting me straight Kyla!

Ale Cynowicz said...

First, Thanks a lot for featuring my picture on the website.

Hi Kyla. You're right about swatting them: they're faster than sound. That's why I choose to take a picture of it instead of frustratedly chasing this bug all around my room. At least it wasn't faster than my camera flash :)

Anonymous said...

Shiny yet scary.

That's a great picture though.