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Photo#173988
Empidid of some kind ?? - Empis

Empidid of some kind ?? - Empis
Aromas, San Benito County, California, USA
March 22, 2008
Size: ~5mm
Saw these two flying about slowly in our yard in the mid afternoon & tried to photograph them in the air, but couldn't get them in focus. They finally landed on a Ceanothus bush. I think they are Empidids of some kind. According to (1): "Some species of Hilara & Empis that occur in the Northwest construct balloons, which they carry about as a means of attracting females. These balloons can be made of silk (spun from the basal segment of the front tarsi) or of a frothy material from the anus, & they usually contain prey." They are smaller & the proboscis doesn't appear to be as long as the other individuals I have seen in our yard. (live oak/chaparral habitat).

Images of this individual: tag all
Empidid of some kind ?? - Empis Empidid of some kind ?? - Empis

Moved
Moved from Dance Flies.

balloon fly!
Great balloon fly picture!

This is definitely a balloon fly in Empis (Enoplempis), probably E. aerobatica

Awesome!
What spectacular images of a seldom-observed behavior! Congrats:-)

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