When is a fly not a fly?

5 Jul
wingles army ant symbiote myrmecophile commensal

A wingless phorid fly from an army ant raiding column under magnification.

Here’s a pretty cool little critter.  This strange-looking bug is actually a wingless phorid fly that we captured running in a column of army ants in Arizona.  Army ants are somewhat famous for hosting a wide variety of myrmecophiles.

Line of marching ants.

A raiding trail of army ants.

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2 Responses to “When is a fly not a fly?”

  1. Jeff Gruber January 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Great find and sweet fly!

    Are those hairy halteres I am seeing, or does this species actually have reduced wings?

    Here’s a wingless one from WI – http://bugguide.net/node/view/886846

    Keep an eye out for cool beetles when you run across this again.

    • 6legs2many February 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

      I believe they have reduced wings.

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