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Sometimes you just get lucky.



Last week I showed you the larva of an Arizona species of flower fly (Syrphidae). Today I found two adults feeding on desert marigold and brittlebush.

Everything is blooming right now.


While taking the photographs of the tiny wasp last week, I noticed another insect that eats aphids.


Do you see it?


How about now?


Here's a hint.


The caterpillar-like creature is actually the larva of a fly called a flower fly (syrphidae). Although you may think of fly larvae as legless creature found in garbage, the flower fly larvae chase down and eat aphids. They are often pinkish or greenish in color.


The adult flies feed on nectar of flowers, hence the common name. They are often mistaken for honey bees. (This is not the same species as the larva above.)

Have you ever seen a flower fly? Why do you think the larva is so hard to spot?


Can you spot the wasp in this photograph?

Did you know that wasps come in all sizes, including tinier than an aphid?

The yellow oleander aphids return each year about this time and feed on our desert milkweed. In turn, a number of other organisms use them for food, such as the tiny wasps.