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Photo#1001870
Leucopis? - Leucopis

Leucopis? - Leucopis
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California, USA
September 25, 2014
Here's what made me wonder about this little fly. It is sitting on an unripe elderberry right next to a line of ants and aphids and other things I'm not clear on the identity of. I assume that ants would attack it, but it was completely unconcerned not even flying away when I had to move branches to get this photo.

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Leucopis?
Leucopis?

 
Leucopis annulipes larvae use a furtive predation...
Thanks John, a am pretty sure you are correct!

I thought that the above partial quote might get your attention. If interested see: http://www.eje.cz/pdfs/eje/2008/03/05.pdf

Thanks for providing the only tentative ID from a series of many photos of an aphid colony with ants and two or three different larva types and some eggs, along with the Leucopis fly.

Well, actually, one of two, as someone pointed out a large waxy ring covered larva of a Scymnini Genus Dusky Lady Beetle. She thought it could be Didion, and I fell back on the only one I have experience with, Cryptolaemus. I can't begin to tell the larvae apart but I did see an adult Cryptolaemus montrouzieri - "Mealybug Destroyer" about three days later.

I hope you find the furtive predation strategy an interesting concept.

 
Leucopis larva photo...
...from here on Bugguide. This is very interesting! I will compare it to photos of some larvas that where in the aphid colony that this adult fly was next to.



This next one was taken by me just a few millimeters from the adult fly.


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