Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Phantom Crane Fly ( Bittacomorpha clavipes)

A common sight near wetlands but difficult subjects to photograph. In spite of their boldly contrasting black and white markings, when flying these insects seem to virtually disappear (they seldom seem to stop flying in any event), and due to their habit of flying low in the grasses they are easily overlooked.

The Phantom Crane Fly's mode of flight is interesting – the fly assumes a vertical position with the front legs extended straight up and back legs down, so its body is perpendicular to the direction of travel.

A mating pair, the female is the larger of the two flies, hauling the much smaller male along.