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Photo#313032
Tephritid Fruit Fly #1 - Chaetorellia succinea - female

Tephritid Fruit Fly #1 - Chaetorellia succinea - Female
Stevens Creek County Park, Santa Clara County, California, USA
July 29, 2009
Size: ~5 mm
Fruit fly found flying and crawling about in Yellow Star-thistle. The patterned wings and green eyes suggest family Tephritidae. This fly has an interesting terminal appendage.

I will submit five photos and note certain features revealed in each:

-1: dorsal view shows twisted wings and thoracic pattern; all photos show a terminal appendage nearly the length of the abdomen.
-2: lateral view: eyes, halteres; terminal end of appendage looks like round hollow tube.
-3: wing pattern, aristae, etc.
-4: here the terminal appendage has “telescoped” out to double its normal length.
-5: terminal appendage has been extended further, now nearly 3X the length of the abdomen.

The interval between shots 4 and 5 was four seconds, after which the extension was retracted and not seen again. I will tentatively assume this appendage is that of a female, ie, some kind of ovipositor.

Another image reveals that this fly can rotate its head a full 90 degrees.

Note: Yellow Star-thistle, Centaurea solstitialis, is our most noxious invasive plant; it would be a fine thing if this insects’ larvae would help to control it.

Identification, corrections, explanations welcome. Thanks.

Images of this individual: tag all
Tephritid Fruit Fly #1 - Chaetorellia succinea - female Tephritid Fruit Fly #2 - Chaetorellia succinea - female Tephritid Fruit Fly #3 - Chaetorellia succinea - female Tephritid Fruit Fly #4 - Chaetorellia succinea - female Tephritid Fruit Fly #5 - Chaetorellia succinea - female

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Moved

i just got similar yesterday, diff species
Yesterday I got a series of shots of Paracantha gentilis couples mating. The females would go off and the rear end would telescope out like that. I'll post some of it to ID request tomorrow. Curious what they were doing too. They had an very complicated ritual of chasing each other around, "kissing" and brief mountings, but nothing like I've seen in other flies. Anyway, I'm curious about the expert response too.

here's one shot with the rear extension from a different day

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