Subject: Dead Head Flower Fly (Portugal)
Location: Porto, Portugal
October 20, 2013 3:39 am
After you identified my Drone Fly I thought I had found another but on closer inspection (thank goodness for photos) I believe it’s another variety called a ”Dead Head” because the pattern on the shoulders resembles a skull.
I found what I believe is a skittish female the first day but the second day the male was much more patient with my curiosity.
They are quite big as flies go. This was mid-July or so.
Anyway, did not see any Dead Head flies on your site, so thought I would share (though tried to wait till submissions might be more manageable — which is sad as it means not as many bugs to discover outside) . I adore the yellow hair halo they seem to have (which is how I realized first they were different than the drone fly — thanks to you I’m learning how to identify myself and it’s fun). 🙂
Signature: Curious Girl
Hi Curious Girl,
Thanks for your sweet email. Since you did not provide a scientific name, we searched for Dead Head Flower Fly and found a photo on TrekNature identified as Myatropa florea. Further searching turned up this interesting dialog on BugGuide when an individual was photographed in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco in 2005. According to BugGuide: “Its larvae live in rotholes in logs and other wood, so it probably has been shipped with timber or something like that.” NatureSpot has some good images showing the thoracic markings.
Thank you Daniel. I was pretty sure I was forgetting something and glad you were able to find the Latin name.
Just realized I saw another Dead Head fly in London’s Hyde Park a couple weeks ago. This time a female who has a more pointed bottom. :~) as you’ll see with the additional pics I’m enclosing (it’s quite interesting how they work that illusion of a waspy waist).
I’ve been finding so many interesting bugs and I think it’s the flies I enjoy the most. They are so variable and seem to have such personalities. But there are several more I’ll share with you soon hopefully. Some are very, very tiny!
Hi again Curious Girl,
Thanks for sending us additional photos of a female Dead Head Fly. We are going to add this to your original posting as well as create a new posting. Since we can only have one location per posting, your sightings in Portugal and London should be archived distinctly from one another.