Subject: Beautiful biting fly (with bonus Karner Blue)
Geographic location of the bug: Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Time: 12:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
Susan B. here with another dispatch from the Albany Pine Bush! I was having a nice raspberry-picking expedition along the trail when a rather beautiful fly came along and landed on my finger. I was so enchanted by its incredible eyes that I failed to notice it had stabbed its proboscis right into my flesh! I shooed it away, and I still have a sore spot where it bit me. Any idea who this rude little creature was?
Astute viewers will notice that while I was dealing with the fly situation, I was also providing transport to another, equally beautiful but much more polite hitchhiker: a Karner Blue that had come along and landed on my finger a few minutes earlier. I’m pleased to say I managed to both photograph and shoo the fly without disturbing my other passenger, who stuck around, lapping up my sweat, for a good quarter mile of trail.
How you want your letter signed: Susan B.
Thanks for your highly entertaining query. You have been bitten by a Deer Fly. According to BugGuide: “Adults feed on plant nectar; females on vertebrate blood; larvae carnivorous and detritus feeders.” You described their “incredible eyes”, and this BugGuide image beautifully captures the details of the eyes of a Deer Fly. Blues are one of the groups of butterflies that frequently have “puddle parties” on damp earth, a behavior beautifully described by Vladimir Nabakov in his fiction, and scientists believe they derive important minerals from this behavior. We suspect your salty perspiration fulfilled your Karner Blue‘s need for moisture and minerals.