The Frit and the fly...or the butterfly and the fly...
That would be the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and the syrphid fly (family Syrphidae), aka flower fly or hover fly.
They meet on a beautiful autumn day on an equally beautiful Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). The season is winding down.
"I was here first!" the Gulf Frit proclaims.
"I was here second!" the fly says.
The yellow-and-black striped fly, masquerading as a bee, is determined to sip some nectar. It edges closer and closer.
The newly eclosed butterfly simply wants to dry its wings before taking off.
The fly is more persistent. And more hungry.
The fly brushes the butterfly. The butterfly takes flight.
Score: Fly: 1; Butterfly, 0.
Author - Communications specialist
The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims "This Mexican sunflower is occupied." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
"Maybe if come around from a different direction!" the fly seems to say. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
"Ah, all mine!" proclaims the fly. "I scared off the butterfly." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)