26 December 2013

Glad these don't bite (native tabanid fly)

At the top of the No. 1 Line track a few days ago, these big flies were patrolling a small clear area. When one alighted on a leaf of horopito (pepperwood; Pseudowintera colorata), I switched to the macro lens and managed a series of photographs. Although these are slightly bigger than a blowfly, the high magnification meant focusing was critical, and only a small number of the photographs were satisfactory.

An impressive proboscis, isn't it? Fortunately, these feed on nectar and perhaps pollen, so calling them horseflies, as other species of the family are known elsewhere in the world, isn't appropriate here. Guess we're lucky. I've been bitten by horseflies in Mongolia, and they HURT.

[24 December 2013, Olympus OM-D EM-1, 60 mm f2.8 Macro , ISO 200, 1/250 at f2.8]

All content © 2013 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

Congratulations on a fantastic portrait and a nice quote, 'I've been bitten by horse-flies in Mongolia'!
Happy New Year,

Elephant's Child said...

Stunning shot. I am always in awe at the beauty of so many of our bugs/insects/beasties when someone captures them on film. And yes, I have been bitten by some horseflies and they do indeed hurt. And make me swell.

Zhoen said...

So, a vegan fly?

pohanginapete said...

RR, thank you (and I enjoyed being able to say I was bitten by horseflies in Mongolia!)

EC, thanks. So many people either never get the chance to look at these small things close up or don't have the inclination, but few remain unimpressed when they realise how spectacular a close view of an insect can be.

Zhoen, I hadn't thought of it like that, but I guess it's true — and in this case I'm glad.