Cave dwelling

Today I was clearing scrub to protect the habitat of an amazing little fly, the Yellow Flat-footed Fly. It is able to stimulate a fungus, Artist's Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum), to grow these wart-like structures in which it then lays eggs. The grubs of the fly then develop inside these warts and finally bore holes, emerge and drop to the ground to bury themselves in the soil and pupate. This is the only invertebrate in Britain known to cause galls on a fungus. I have to admit that when I first found these galls at the nature reserve and worked out what they were, they struck some sort of note with me (who normally struggles to remember names) as the latin name is Agathomyia wankowiczii - can't think why!

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