07.03.2022 Fooled me once…

When I visited one of our daisy fleabanes I saw this fly with its iridescent wings and thought it was a hoverfly.  But once I got the shot and looked closer I saw that it wasn’t.  BugGuide told me that it’s a Predatory Fungus Gnat- Keroplatidae. They are called predatory because their larvae feed on microscopic organisms by spinning sticky webs of their own and depositing acid droplets to kill their prey. The larvae do also feed on fungal spores caught in the web, hence the name, and dead of their own species or other deceased insects.  Part of the cleanup crew. It’s a complicated and dangerous world out there. Be thankful you are at the top of the food chain…for the most part.

Obviously the adult prefers pollen.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 07.03.2022 Fooled me once…

  1. Tina says:

    Excellent photo! Isn’t BugGuide great?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed. Sometimes it takes a while to get an ID, sometimes it happens fast, sometimes you get an email notification a few years after a post, but eventually most do get identified. I have had a few responses telling me that the only way to get an ID is by genital dissection. My response has always been that I don’t need to know that badly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a clear closeup. The halteres are conspicuous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Which makes the false ID iNaturalist gave me so funny. They are plainly obvious yet the first suggestion it made was Goldenrod Crab Spider. Sometimes it is spot on but not this time.


  3. Ann Mackay says:

    Fantastic detail again! The cleanup crew do an important job. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great detail Steve! Nice image!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This photo is superb! So sharp and distinct. Of course, as a complete novice, I assumed this was a Bee of some kind (whatever that term actually means). What a fascinating and useful insect!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    I don’t think I would have pegged this as a hoverfly, but I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea what else it might have been. The sort-of-fuzziness doesn’t seem hoverfly-like to me. But what a great photo. The details are so clear; how anyone could have confused it with a crab spider’s beyond me. Of course, the app I sometimes use for flower IDs can be off, too. Usually, I can spot the misinterpretations, which is a little encouraging in itself.


    • From a distance it gave me that impression. But once in my viewfinder I could see that it was something different. I didn’t know what until someone on BugGuide helped me out. I doubt a human would have mistaken it for a crab spider but apparently AI can be fooled.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Whew, I am very thankful to be on top of the food chain. What an awesome shot of this nasty-sounding little fellow! And what a name!!😳

    Liked by 1 person

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