Flower-feeding March Fly

MorialtaCP-2013-12-11-Fly_AT_1

Scaptia auriflua aka Flower-feeding March Fly, Tabanus auriflua
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Tabanidae
Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia – December 11th, 2013 – warm conditions

Photo: Aldo Trissi

Although March Flies have an intimidating reputation for feasting on blood, this pretty, colourful species is harmless, and feeds exclusively on plants by drinking nectar from flowers. The eye colour changes depending on the light, but a green tendency may be present and the rich golden-orange hairy fringes make it distinctive, however, the rich colour has been faded in some photos I have seen on the net. The species seems to have quite a wide range in Australia.

Wikipedia has this to say: “Adults are about 10 millimetres (0.4 in) in length and mimic bees with dense hair and a golden coloration. Their eyes meet in the middle and the eye coloration differs from light source to light source.”

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