Posts Tagged: freeloader fly
We have bright faces in our Vacaville, Calif., pollinator garden. The bright faces are usually that of assorted bees and butterflies nectaring on members of the sunflower family: Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and blanketflowers (Gaillardia). But...
A banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata, stretches out near its wrapped bee in a Vacaville, Calif. pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
See the freeloader fly, family Milichiidae, feasting on the wrapped bee? Below it: the banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata. Argiope is Latin for “with bright face” while trifasciata is Latin for “three-banded.” (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
There is such a thing as a free lunch. And a free breakfast. And a free dinner. And a free snack. That is, if you're a freeloader fly. If you've ever watched a spider snare a bee or other insect in its web, and wrap it like a fit-to-be-tied...
A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a freeloader fly, family Milichiidae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The next time you see a spider eating a bee snared in its web, look closely. The spider may not be alone. It may have a dinner companion. A freeloader fly. The common name, "freeloader fly," refers to the Milichiidae family. These flies are very...
Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Freeloader fly perched on top of a spider's prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)