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Insect identification and more


#1

My wife is a photographer she mainly does people and weddings but she loves taking pictures of nature. One day while walking through the woods she found this insect and started snapping pictures of it. After a couple pictures she had realized that its abdomen was split down the sides and that it was dripping liquid. We have never been able to figure out why it was split and dripping. I believe she even sent the pictures in somewhere but never received a response. The other day she brought up these pictures and I thought of @hivefleetbothan If you or anyone could identify this insect and enlighten us on the split abdomen and dripping fluid I would greatly appreciate the mystery being solved. I will post a couple pictures and I do have more if they are needed.


#2

Firstly, it is a diptera… I can tell you that for certain. You can even make out the halteres so identification may not be an issue.

HOWEVER, I am most certainly out of my depth. I will look into it and get back to you.

As to the dripping, I will also look for some reason once I know what it is. I have 2 guesses (natural way to attract mates, albeit unlikely, or parasitic infection).

I do however need to know:
-General geographic region and season (I understand if you are vague, but I need to have something to narrow it down from the entire world).


#3

dont mind me, just leaving this comment here so i can know what happened


#4

Wow!! That was fast!!! Pictures were taken in North east united states (mid west Michigan) and the season was early fall.


#5

Thanks, I am on the case.


#6

Thanks!! I figured if anyone could solve this mystery it would be you :grinning:


#7

Man! Do I feel silly.

After some hasty searches I came up with all kinds of wasps and possible mimics.

Then I found a crane fly,
Ctenophora flaveolata

But in my rush to bring in the comparative photo I almost didn’t notice that this fly is found in Europe (the photo is from Germany). I also notice that the whole body is wrong… So I will have to go search the collection for this one…

My current suspicion is a crane fly, but I think the face is wrong, and the projection off the abdomen is more reminiscent of a female fruit fly. How large was this fly?

I am currently fluctuating between some of the largest and smallest flies.


#8

i believe it s a kind of the Phantom Crane Fly


#9

Actually, that does look very similar. that would make it a female Tanyptera dorsalis.


#10

Size was about 2 inches long. My only guess was a wasp turning into a queen if that is even a thing lol :rofl:


#11

Can we bother you a little more? :sweat_smile:
Perhaps one more pic? a close up to its head?


#12

I think this is the best picture of the head.

And this is the link to the entire album she has on her page.


#13

When I posted these pics here today I was wondering what the mini wings were behind the wings. Now I know they are halters. I have already learned something today :grinning:


#14

Tanyptera dorsalis looks like the right insect to me. I am even pulling up pictures from the internet of others split on the sides like this one. Maybe this happens to the females when full of eggs?


#15

Tanyptera Atrata


This One is Carying Eggs


#16

Yes… i guess you re right :thinking:


#17

This one is actually laying eggs in the picture


#18

You can think of halters like brake pads on a bike, they are used by flies to “brake” allowing them to change direction/trajectory very quickly.


#19

This is amazing! I have learned so much today. I also found that at the time these photos where taken we had a state record for the amount of them we had in Michigan. We have never found out why it was split and dripping because we failed to properly identify it first so we were looking up the wrong insects. My wife is more then thrilled to finally have some answers to this several year long mystery even though she laughed at me for posting this on a “video game site”. I guess we showed her :rofl:


#20

Halter - Halt there
I heard of them before, but I never realized until know