Mexican Cactus Fly
Location: Elyria Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California
April 14, 2012
After participating in a bird watching hike, Daniel headed home on the path that passes along “dirt” Burnell where four additional lots have recently been purchased and added to the total acerage for the Elyria Canyon Park. The wild mustard was blooming and this large Mexican Cactus Fly, , did not seem at all concerned that it was being photographed. Perhaps because the weather was so cool, this member of the Hover Fly family Syrphidae was not as wary as it might normally be.
According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “This is a giant member of the flower fly family (its body length is 5/8 to 3/4 in. or 15 to 20 mm), with a shiny smooth purplish-black body’ it is occasionally seen in the spring and summer in areas where cacti grow. The larvae are large (body length 3/4 in. or 20 mm) pale cylindrical maggots that feed in the rotting, soupy interior of dead and decaying tissues of cacti.”