This is a photo taken on my phone, down the eye-piece of my old microscope. Not bad quality, I thought. Depth of field doesn’t really become an issue when it comes to photographing a fly wing, and luckily picture-wing flies (family Tephritidae) can be identified almost exclusively from the wing markings.
I found this fly sitting atop a hollyhock flower in my parents’ garden in Newhaven, Sussex. I was actually looking for a weevil, Rhopalapion longirostre, but there’s still no sign of it away from south-east London.
Instead, this appears to be Tephritis praecox, a fly thought to be extinct in Britain, until my father started finding it in a Malaise trap in his garden in 2003. It breeds in the flower heads of garden marigolds, Calendula species, of which there is a multitude around the house. There are a few scattered records elsewhere since, but the majority come from this small suburban plot.
Nice to know the colony is doing so well there.
Pingback: The Weekly Flypaper » Biodiversity in Focus Blog