Monday, October 17, 2005

Can A Bug Be Funny?

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This is a hover fly of the Family Syrphidae.

I don't think of insects as funny. Not usually.

Fascinating (though not as much as fish)? ...yes, they are fascinating.

Amazingly Adapted?...hands down, the winners.

Instinctively Robotic?... extremely...yawn.

Beautiful? ...some are gorgeous.

Funny?...not really.

Then this guy, this hover fly shows up on my porch. He's hilarious...well, that may be stretching it, but I confess to laughing outloud at an insect. (I don't think any one saw me..)

This hover fly could stay stationary (almost like he was hovering, don't ya' know) . While he hovered there was a constant "vrrrrrrrrrrrr" sound. When I got to close in my photo attempts, he would zip a foot to either side and stop in mid air....VRRRRRRRRT, VRRRRRRRT!

He wouldn't leave the area which was bothering my dogs a little. They assume that anything that buzzes may sting. The hover FLY is a fly of course, but they are a bee mimic in appearance and sound. The dogs were giving me worried looks as the hover fly continued to VRRRRRR over their heads.

When the dogs were younger, they would have snapped at this interloper, but they've both been stung by real bees and now know better. So bee mimicry paid off on this day.

The flash stopped the motion of the wings in this shot. You could not see the wings as he hovered as they were going too fast. To me, they almost look to small to lift an insect this large.

The hover fly is listed as a beneficial insect for the garden, so go easy on him if you come across one.

He might make you smile.


thingfish23 said...


Floridacracker said...

I was hoping you'd stop by. I knew as the bugmeister of bloggerdom, you would appreciate this little guy.

Zanne said...

What a fantastic photo. And yes....he is funny, almost cartoony in design. Can't say that I've ever seen one.

pablo said...

Nicely done. Talent as well as brains!

Thunder Dave said...

Nice shot!
He looks like a nosey little dude.

Wayne said...

That is an absolutely fantastic shot, FC.

Yellow-jacket hoverfly? We've got them too; at first I thought they were hornets and then took a closer look. Now I think of them as faithful companions. They seem to follow me around.

Rurality said...

Nice pic! I've got to keep my eyes open for one of these.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Nice shot. You have alot of patience, FC. It shows in getting a photograph like this one.

roger said...


Hick said...

That is amazing. We have those here too, but I always thought they were some sort of bee.

Floridacracker said...

"Cartoony" is a perfect description.

I'm not sure how talented they are...and their brains are really small.

Definitely nosey.Eyey too.

Thanks. Apparently these feed on some of our garden pests like aphids, etc.

I'm sure you have them on your beautiful place.

My wife says I am patient to a fault, but in fact this was an easy shot with a willing "stay in one place" subject.

Why thank you!

That's what they want you to think so you'll leave them bee...

Wayne said...

FC, my understanding is that they're looking for aphid infested plants to lay their eggs; the larvae then feed on the aphids. I'm crushed - I really thought they like to be around me. (And no, I'm not aphid-infested.)

Floridacracker said...

Time to ditch the "eau de aphid" cologne. :)
Your understanding is mine too. I had never explored them until this one showed up.
I wonder how their larvae deal with the ants I see protecting my aphids? Hmmmm.

Hick said...

What? They are after the aphids? Maybe my "bees" are a different kind. I always see them hovering over the lawn and only in the sunlight. What's up with that? I thought I only had aphids on my roses and lupine and a couple of other flowers...not my grass.

By the you guys have "Meat Bees?" They are little bees that fly around in the summer and bug us when we are trying to eat something with meat in it outside. I have seen them devour a whole ham sandwich in a couple of hours. And, if they are really hungry they will land on people and try to take bites out of them.

Floridacracker said...

Fish Tacos, Meat Bees? What is going out there?

We do have yellow jackets that will stop by for a bite of your food or a sip of your sweet drink.

rick said...

awsome picture what speed film did you use to stop him and also be so clear?