Mating Tachinid Flies

More bug love
Attached are a few images of a mating pair of some wonderfully colored flies. I love the furry collar around their necks, not to mention the huge red eyes. The images of the lone fly are of, I assume, the female after the male has flown off. They were very kind to stay still while I got in close to take their picture. I would say they are no larger than a 1/4 inch long. Any idea what they may be? The images were taken April 18, 2008 in a small field of mallow and grass in Mountain View, CA. This was probably the first week of the year temperatures reached over 80 degrees. All the bugs are finally coming out of the wood work. Thanks in advance,

Hi Dan,
What a marvelous image of mating Tachinid Flies in the genus Gymnosoma. According to BugGuide, adults feed on nectar and the larvae are parasitic on Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae.

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