By angellightphoto

gross in name and gross in nature

...we were so lucky to find that the forecast for today was better this morning than it had been last thing yesterday evening. Consequently, after breakfast, we headed over to Studland with our guests as they were keen to see some sand lizards. They were not to be disappointed and, while they were getting their fill of not only sand but also common lizards, I went in search of some interesting flies for my Diptera series. I captured a good selection of the more pretty of the hoverflies sitting on various photogenic flowers but it was this ugly brute that really caught my attention.

The Giant Tachinid Fly Tachina grossa is neither beautiful in form nor gentle in nature as it is parasitic - the female lays her eggs on the living bodies of other insect larvae. Its Latin specific name of grossa is well deserved, even if this is really meant to reflect its size rather than how it makes us feel. Incidentally, those are the seed pods of Gorse Ulex europaeus that she is sitting on while rubbing her hands with glee...

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