... with one eye open.

By Chamaeleo

Fly: Washing

Closer in large ("L").

I was slightly disappointed with the insects today; I only found these large blow flies. There were, I suppose, plenty of tiny, unidentifiable drifty-things ("aeroplankton") that were catching the bright and piercing light, but they're not exactly great photographic subjects. After yesterday's (extended) river-side antics, I kept my photography to the garden today, so that I'd actually get some reading done.

Oh well, at least this fly was grooming which made for a slightly more interesting picture; at the Drosophila courtship practical last week, I spoke to a PhD student about the flies that she works on (Drosophila, like everyone else, but also stalk-eyed flies, which were very interesting), and she said that they all keep themselves very clean: if you mark them anywhere (with paint or ink) they'll clean it off within about 24 hours. The stalk-eyed flies were fascinating: they're a family (Diopsidae) of flies found mostly in Asia and Africa, and all have extended eye-stalks which are used as a conflict avoidance strategy (i.e. pairs will size up each other's eye-stalks rather than fight, if at all possible), and females also chose mates based on the length of their eye stalks (sexual selection...).
This is an absolutely killing video of two almost fighting; I love it when they notice each other and suddenly jump into their fighting stances. They don't actually exchange any blows.

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