Come Hither… said the fly to the fly…

Posted: January 16, 2010 in butterflies, macro photography
Tags: , , , , ,

Two lovers were hanging around on a leaf on an extremely listless and lazy day in the forest.  Come hither said the girl to the guy… 

And then there was plenty of action afterwards.

These lovers are not wasps, their extremely slender wasp-like appearances aside, but flies (Order: Diptera > Acalyptratae). 

You can tell this by a pair of modified hindwings wings called halteres, which distinguishes this family of insects.  They look like little sacs or club like appendages (See pic of halteres below). 

Through the 5 minute (it's quick business if you're a fly) courtship, the female (I assume the one with the pointy abdomen below is female) constantly put one foreleg out (she could just be cleaning I guess) as in the picture above and vibrated her wings persistently, as if to point at her partner and say… :"YOU there~! Come here already!!  We've only got 5 minutes!!!"

The male vibrated his wings pensively… but eventually did as he was told.

They mated several times following the same sequence: female points foreleg (or cleaning leg..:P), vibrates wings, male vibrates wings, they do a small dance around each other, and then they mate.

Note on photo above: I guess they must just be cleaning cos the male was doing this all by himself after the female flew away.

The Forest Sleeps On

Activity was still low… and I don't know why I was thinking: "It's the new year!  Therefore the butterflies must think the same way too!"  But apparently not.

There were one particularly interesting butterfly with unusual blue dustings on its wings.  I have no idea whether this is a colour variation.  I am very sure that this wasn't due to the angle of light.  The butterfly was perched in the dark shade and I could still see the distinct blue markings on the wings.

I also came across an Arctiid-like moth which I thought was an Arhopala with the way it was flying and the flashing blue undersides blinking.

Other than that, it was common species all the way, with the large banded red eye and chequered lancer eluding me at the usual encounter spots (PHHOOM!) and two lonely butterflies (one Commander and one Leopard Lacewing) flying over the melastoma flowers in the area which before was overrun with greedy butterflies.


Plenty of these guys around as usual.

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  1. Waterbaby says:

    "Through the 5 minute (it's quick business if you're a fly) courtship" – lol. You really do have an impressive knowledge of butterflies.

  2. Actually… butterflies take waaaayyy much longer when they are mating… 🙂 Those two are wasp-like flies/hover flies wearing wasp costumes 🙂 hahaha

  3. Waterbaby says:

    lol – I wasn't touting your knowledge of the butterflies', errr, mating details, rather your ability to speak on butterflies, identify them and such. More power to ya if all that includes the intimate details of their sex lives too – lol

  4. Haha!! ok ok! I took you too seriously there! 😛

  5. Lauri says:

    I just love learning every detail about anything in nature! So, thanks! 🙂

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