The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Tag Archives: Fly

Photo Friday: one-shot wonder

When working with live insects in the field, one of the biggest challenges is to get the shot before the bug…bugs off. Sometimes you only get one or two chances before your subject is suddenly nowhere to be seen – it’s the reason why I end up with so many badly lit or blurry images that get tossed and make me quietly mutter bad words.

Every now and then, though, I get lucky. This image of a snipe fly was the one and only shot I managed to fire off – and it was definitely a keeper 🙂

Rhagio hirtus, female (Rhagionidae)

Hey Geek, what’s this? Creepy long-tailed water thingie…

My Twitter feed alerted me to a new interaction – I’d been flagged in a tweet by @MarconiRebus containing a most intriguing photo:

An earlier tweet provided a little more info:

Whoa. That is one weird bug!

Aquatic insects do have a tendency to look weird and wriggly, but this long-tailed beastie was nothing I was familiar with; also, the photo was coming from overseas, making this ID challenge potentially tricky.

Luckily, that snorkel-butt was an incredibly useful character for narrowing the ID down to one insect Family. There are a number of aquatic insects that use a similar apparatus for breathing, but none that I’m aware of that look quite so wormy. A search turned up a most awesomely-named fly larva:

“Rat-tailed Maggot”

You gotta love that name; it conjures up so much “EW”! 😛

The Rat-tailed Maggot is the larva of a drone fly (Eristalis sp., Syrphidae).  Syrphids are generally known as “hover flies” for their ability to fly in place. The adults tend to hang out near or on flowers, and many mimic bees.

I actually encountered some large bee-mimicking hover flies (possibly drone flies, but difficult to tell from my photos) while camping last week; this isn’t the most awesome photo ever, but it gives you the general idea of the nature of the beast:

See Miles’ comment about this photo, below – I made a boo-boo! Thanks, Miles!

There were ample ponds and quiet pools in the area, which would have made perfect breeding grounds for these fascinating flies!

A facelift for Fall To Climb?

Clearly I spend way too much time on the internet and blogging and/or thinking about blogging, because the subject at the forefront of my brain right now is the name or “brand” of this blog (unless my advisor is reading this, in which case he should stop reading and go back to whatever he was doing, safe in the knowledge that I am utterly consumed with thoughts of Kug beetles. Seriously. My desk is covered with them at this very moment. Go back to work.)

Now, for the rest of you: I want people to easily find and read this blog. I want to spread entomo-goodness far and wide.  I want to expand my readership and the people in my network, because, frankly, I keep finding more awesome people and things to read out there. I’m very aware that the number of Canadian-based insect blogs is not exactly hefty, and I think it’s time for Canuks to step up and get noticed (because, like, we have bugs too, eh?).

See? A bug! From Canada! Ok, not a bug, a fly (maybe Dryomyza anilis - thanks Morgan!)...but it's definitely an insect!

The name of this blog was selected years ago when I had no idea what the blog would be about. Now that I’ve got a bit of a “thing” going here, it’s clear that the name “Fall to Climb” has little to do with the blog’s current persona.

So I’m thinking, perhaps it’s time for a change.

BUT. If a change means losing touch with the people that I know and love RIGHT NOW, I’m not sure I’m willing to take the risk.

So, please humor me, people I know and love.  What do you all think?

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