Ceriana sp.

Ceriana Fly, Syrphidae, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed at Sycamore Canyon on the west side of the Mazatzal Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 16 May 2016.

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A naturalist who takes the effort to observe and learn about these colorful insects that can be found visiting flowers for nectar, should come away with a sense of awe. To find that an insect has a wasp-disguise so precise. A precision designed by evolution over tens of millions of years as sharp-visioned insectivores ate the would-be ancestors with less-than-convincing habits and colors. Wasps mostly have long antennae, while flies usually short. Is this disguise improved by having the antennae attached to a long stalk? Now the best wasp look-alikes can quietly sip nectar as birds and lizards choose not to get stung - even though this fly cannot sting at all.

Syrphidae -- Hover and Flower Fly Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 22 July 2016