|Ornate Snipe Fly - Chrysolpolis ornatus|
Family Rhagionidae - Snipe Flies
Live specimens photographed at Ogle County, Illinois. Size: Female= 13mm, Male= 11mm
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This female looks decidedly pregnant
The ornate snipe fly is certainly one beautiful fly. This is a large female at 13mm, found flying about amidst low foliage along a forest path. I found her male counterpart there as well. All I ever see them do is sit; all show and no go, so to speak.
Within the superfamily Tabanoidea, family Rhagionidae is recognized as a monophyletic group consisting of four subfamilies: Arthrocerinae, Chrysopilinae, Rhagioninae, and Spaniinae. There are at least 15 recognized genera. Subfamily Arthrocerinae consists of a single genus .
Flies in Rhagionidae have slender, tapered often pubescent bodies and stilt-like legs. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and some species (i.e. those in genus Symphoromyia, commonly called "Rocky Mountian bite flies") are haematophagous (blood-sucking) as adults, and attack humans and other large mammals, while others are predatory on other insects.
Here's a male specimen. At 11mm, he's slightly smaller than the female
Flies of North America - Order Diptera. Flies are prevalent in virtually all habitats, with over 16,000 species in North America. Flies can be distinguished from all other insects in that they only have one pair of normal wings. The other pair has evolved into small ball-like structures called halteres, thought to be used as stabilizing organs during flight. Most flies have compound eyes and mouthparts adapted for piercing, lapping or sucking fluids.
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