photos – Small Purple Headed Fly – Lasia Purpurata
I was tickled to run across your webpage today and see someone else took a photo of the Lasia Purpurata. I too photographed this bug last year. It was identified for me by Dr. Jeffrey Barnes at the University of Arkansas in June of 05. I have been looking ever since then for other photos, the first time I “Googled” this bug after learning it’s prpoer name, there were only four text pages with very scant information and no web photos at all. I have quite a few good pictures and also movie, here are three of my photos if you would like to add/ use them on your web page. I attached some of my correspondence from Dr. Barnes and a local nature center. Thank you,
Thu, 23 Jun 2005
Here is the Hummer-bug photo we discussed by phone today. I appreciate any help you can provide in it’s identification. I was in the Mountain Home Ark area last Saturday when I took this photo. (Actually, I have several more photos at home and also a short movie clip in Quicktime if you want more, let me know) While it was gathering nectar I was able to get quite close. It moved front to back and side to side similar to a hummingbird but it’s body is only as big as a bumblebee. Hard to tell in this photo since I cropped and enlarged for a close-up.
Thanks for your help,
What an exciting find! This is Lasia purpurata, a fly in the family Acroceridae. The larvae of this species are parasites of tarantulas. Adults, as you have observed, are nectar feeders. This is not a commonly observed insect. I wonder if you would be willing to email me, as an attachment, a high resolution copy (say 4X4 at 300 dpi) of this photo and permission to use it in our museum website and perhaps a future field guide to Arkansas insects?
Dr. Jeffrey K. Barnes, Curator
The Arthropod Museum
Department of Entomology
University of Arkansas
Thank you so much for sending your photos in to our site. They are stunning. Congratulations on taking such wonderful shots of a rarely seen species.