24 Jul 2015

Flies 2

After my last blog on Fly Macro I have been busy doing more of them. The first two images are from 2013 as could not fit on the first blog. The second of these images is full of drama. I knew there were some species that actually would prey on general species of Fly and other insects, but had never witnessed it until this point. I had wondered to a lane some 20 minutes away, where I know has diverse vegetation. From a garden perimeter hedge some 10ft high, through to a small Allotment then public bridleway with natural plants like Nettles and Cow Parsley etc. It was on the gargantuan hedge that this act of violence was captured. 

The cannibalistic nature of the smaller fly is a sight to behold. They are the predatory genus known as "Robber Flies". I spent minutes observing and capturing this event. I believe the first photo here is of a similar species that also hunt on regular flies. It is evident that they are hunters with the shape of the head. There is a sinister, devilish look to them. More angular and focused in design than common fly sub species. Just like that with Birds of Prey.  

Jumping forwards to the last couple of weeks, the next photos in the blog have been taken in the recent weeks. With spring 2015 now in full swing, fauna and flora jumping into life and nectar available to those who duly rely on this natural food source. It has been time to get out with the macro gear again. The Cherry tree in the garden has been in full blossom and a haven of insect activity. Various Bee species going about collecting Nectar and scurrying off to home. With even Mason Bees (Bee blog to come) taking up residence in a box with bamboo cane in just for them. Another Bee species, never seen before by me (due in part to misidentification as Wasps) are Nomad Bees moving about the blossom too, but higher up and inaccessible. They are super active anyway and would make it nigh on impossible to capture.

St Marks Fly

Of the flies on the tree, most were that I have already portrayed in the first blog but there were some newcomers to the party. Above is the St Marks Fly, a fly fairly docile and clumsy commonly spotted in fields where Sheep or Cattle could graze. Large in size (10-14mm) and pure black with big bulbous eyes. Its name comes about from the fact they normally appears around St Marks day at the end of April. They to me, are a more friendly and non intimidating fly that can also live a less grotesque life than other species that feed on animal excrement. 

These next two flies are the same species and constantly seem to love Sunbathing. The first is sat on the edge of planks that from the structure of the raised flower bed. The second on tarpaulin covering garden furniture. A small species, some 7mm in length and 50/50 in tolerance to me. Some 2ft away vanish while others allow some 100mm distance. The second is one of my favourite images as the whole overall tones of the diffused background and that of the fly work so well together, along with the compound eye lenses being in focus too. 

The next set depict the stunning metallic coloured "Bottle" sub species. First up a large Bluebottle residing on he wooden planks again. About 15mm long and very common throughout the UK. Next a smaller but equally colourful Greenbottle. The metallic Green shimmers glorious in the Sun. Found amongst the plants in the raised bed area. Then a smaller Bluebottle again. Although the wings are different on this one so I am not 100% sure of the ID. 

Bluebottle Fly

Greenbottle Fly

Smaller Bluebottle species
 The following is a species I have seen in several locations I have worked at or visited. The eyes are so comical in look with a "Crash Helmet" shape. 7mm or so long also a smaller fly. Found on the raised area plants again. A beautiful dark metallic colour to these, complimented by the metallic Orange compound eyes.

species unknown currently

The following is a very miniature fly of only 4mm in length. Found on the slabs that run along the back of the fish pond, suggests it prefers a damper location. This was the 5th attempt of capturing one as they spooked easily. Being so small it was impossible to see the detail and colour these actually adorn, but with the macro gear it allows this to be visible. This is what I love about macro, to be able to see hidden detail of minute creatures.

After the above fly, I headed out across the field at the bottom of my garden to the boundary fence opposite. Having previously patrolled this fence I know it is rife for insects and Jumping Spiders. It was plentiful of common small brown flies sitting in large groups in the Sun. Then up in a corner that is shady by overhanging trees this Greenfly below was captured. Being quite large for this species and distinctive with its bright red eyes too. How the light was hitting it really makes it stand out against the darker background.


A bit further along my final fly (Anthomyia procellaris), in this series was seen. I have shot these before and is included in my previous fly blog. But on this occasion how the light was hitting, gives atmosphere and highlights all the little details on the fly. The small hairs on its legs, the yellow underneath its rear abdomen and the armour plating look to it too, really is evident. This particular one was much larger than those I have normally seen at various locations, allowing greater opportunity to see those small intrinsic, unique details.

Anthomyia procellaris