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5 Aug
Bristly black tachinid fly at a yellow flower.

Pollen-covered fly feeding at a flower (Presidio la Bahia, TX).

I noticed recently that when I see pictures of flowers without bugs on them I find myself thinking that they are lacking, as if the photographer has left something out of the composition.  Yes, that’s a lovely flower– but it would be more interesting with bugs.

Look how pretty that fly is up there.  Much better.

I can’t see the subscutellum, but I’m going to place this fly as a tachinid anyway, using my go-to “look how bristly it is” method.  I’m a lazy taxonomist.  Tachinidae is an interesting family, as its members are parasitoids of other arthropods.  House flies and fruit flies lay their eggs on rotting meat or fruit.  Tachinids lay their eggs on or in another living arthropod (most commonly caterpillars).  The young maggots feed on their living host from the inside, Alien-style.  Adults live more mild-mannered lives, feeding on flower nectar, pollen, decaying material, or nothing at all, until the time comes to find a host for their young.  A beautiful, science-fiction circle of life.

Tag:  Bugs on flowers