Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Mydas Touch

Although often mistaken for wasps, members of the family of Mydas Flies belong to the order DIPTERA (two winged) and so are true "flies".   Mydas Flies (Mydas clavatus) have a wingspan of about 2" and are distinguished by the orange band on the 2nd abdominal segment and clubbed antenae.  Adults are not commonly seen because their lifespan is so short. Mydas Fly eggs are laid in the soil but the larva are usually found in rotting wood on the forest floor. The larva are beneficial to gardeners because they feed heavily on June Beetles.  Adults will prey on other insects but also seem to feed on nectar.

This pair of mating Mydas Flies was photographed at the main gate flower gardens at Fox Island County Park. 

Females seem to be receptive to multiple suitors and another male was closely following all movements of the pair as they flew around the flowers.
Photos by J. Ormiston  7/24/14