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The Story Behind Stalk Eyed Flies

I often encountered a particular family of flies that had their eyes on extended stalks. Their heads resembled a hammerhead shark, which led to many calling them the hammerhead flies.

The Stalk-Eyed Flies belong to the family Diopsidae. The extended stalks occur in the males, and are sometimes completely absent in females.

The ones I found seem to have shorter "stalks" and had the same hammer-styled heads, so I'm not completely sure that they belong to the same family as the Stalk-Eyed Flies.

Here's a video documenting how they pump their stalks to their full lengths after emerging from the larva.



This article documents an encounter with another similar looking fly.

Hammerhead Fly (Richardiidae) - DSC_5306 #1 The bizarre head

Hammerhead Fly (Richardiidae) - DSC_5321 #2 Face to face. Their eyes were not as wide apart as other Stalk-Eyed Flies

Hammerhead Fly (Richardiidae) - DSC_5331 #3 Close up shot

Just a short trip, so just a few other finds. :)

Thrips (Thysanoptera) - DSC_5300 #5 A family of newborn Thrips (Order Thysanoptera)

Flower Chafer Beetle (Cetoniidae) - DSC_5352 #6 Flower Chafer (Cetoniidae)? Not sure.

Bess Beetle (Passalidae) - DSC_5359 #7 Bess Beetle (Passalidae), likely to be Aceraius rectidens.

Bess Beetle (Passalidae) - DSC_5366 #8 Closeup on the Bess Beetle's head, showing the comb-like antennae

Praying Mantis nymph (Mantodea) - DSC_5373 #9 A really tiny Praying Mantis. There were quite a lot of them the day before, but when I got to the spot, only 1 was left.

Praying Mantis nymph (Mantodea) - DSC_5384 #10 Another record shot of the tiny fella.


The complete album can be viewed here.
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