August 26, 2009
Hi, I’ve noticed some mysterious flies around my yard, and I’ve been unable to identify them. They don’t seem interested in the normal waste and rot that many regular flies like, and seem to be solitary. They have ferocious looking piercing mouthparts, and their overall shape reminds me of a military helicopter. Maybe that’s just me, though. I’ve been trying for weeks to get a picture, and they’ve eluded me — until this morning, when I found a dead one tangled in an old spider web. It’s slightly dessicated, but I believe there’s enough detail for an ID. I hope.
We are happy your perseverance paid off. According to BugGuide, the Picture Winged Fly, Delphinia picta: “Breeds in decaying organic matter, such as compost.“