Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly
Superfamily: Nemestrinoidea (sometimes placed in Tabanoidea)
Hawthorndene – December 30th, 2014 – on Eucalypt leaves near Hawthorndene Oval – cloudy, mild conditions
Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz
Tangle-veined Flies feed on nectar and flowers, using their long proboscis – They are from the family Nemestrinidae and have relatives in the Tabanidae etcetera, such as March Flies and Horse Flies, that feed on blood. They can hover, and sometimes are mistaken for the BeeFlies of the family Bombylidae, but Nemestrinidae have shorter wings and their abdomens are longer and pointy. Their larvae are parasitic.
Rutilia (Donovania) inusta aka Grey Rutilia Fly (?)
Kyeema Conservation Park, South Australia – January 4th, 2014 – warm to hot conditions
Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz
This enormous, intimidating monster of a fly, I estimate 2cm long from antennae to wing tip and very wide, looks like one of the blood-sucking March Flies, but this is a harmless nectar feeder. It parasitizes on Scarab Beetles, laying its eggs in their larvae. It is one of the most impressive flies in Australia.
Scaptia auriflua aka Flower-feeding March Fly, Tabanus auriflua
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.”