Thread subject: :: Spider, tiny flies and behavioural question

Posted by lynkos on 25-07-2005 17:34

I'd be interested to have your comments on this picture I took some weeks ago of a Thomisus onustus spider feasting on a bee. But what interests me most are the small flies in attendance. I'd be interested to know what they are and especially what they are doing in what would seem to be a thoroughly uncomfortable position! Thanks in advance, Sarah

Posted by Jan Willem on 25-07-2005 17:57

The flies are probably Milichiidae. See also:

This site is set up by Irina Brake, who can probably tell you much more about the behaviour of these flies.

Jan Willem

Posted by lynkos on 25-07-2005 18:04

Thanks Jan. I've taken a look at the site and it certainly looks as if they are Milichiidae. Yet another example of the extraordinary richness and adaptive powers of the Diptera. I've sent a copy of the photo to Irina for her confirmation, if she adds anything of interest, I'll post it here. Thanks again, Sarah

Posted by Paul Beuk on 25-07-2005 23:40

They are almost certainly Desmometopa. Species of this genus are often found on bees that have fallen prey to spiders (either crab spiders or in webs), robber flies or hunting bugs.

Posted by lynkos on 26-07-2005 05:45

Thanks Paul. I find this behaviour quite fascinating and wish I'd managed to get more photos of the flies themselves, rather than just as an accompaniment to the main drama. Hopefully though I will come across them again, Sarah