|Hybotid Dance Fly - Platypalpus sp.|
Order Diptera / Family Hybotidae / Subfamily Tachydromiinae
Live adult flies photographed at Winfield, DuPage County Illinois, USA. Size: 10mm
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Dance flies are known for their mating swarms, in which large numbers flies, sometimes all of one gender, fly up and down in a defined area. These swarms sometimes occur during daylight, but most often at dusk when they are very difficult to see.
Male dance flies of some species are known to capture smaller insects and wrap them in silk, then fly about offering the prey to receptive females in the swarm. They have even been known to offer empty balls of silk in an effort to deceive females into mating with them. It is not known how often this practice is successful, however, one would think evolutionary pressures would have eliminated the deceptive strains were it not a viable reproduction tactic.
Dance fly in the family Empididae - Empis clausa
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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