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Species Taeniaptera trivittata

Tiny Wasp? - Taeniaptera trivittata BG2828 E0825 - Taeniaptera trivittata Fly?  - Taeniaptera trivittata fly at the fish restaurant? - Taeniaptera trivittata Stilt-legged Fly - Taeniaptera trivittata Taeniaptera trivittata? - Taeniaptera trivittata Is this a Taeniaptera trivittata or a Rainieria antennaepes? - Taeniaptera trivittata Stilt-legged fly's interaction with ants - Taeniaptera trivittata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Nerioidea
Family Micropezidae (Stilt-legged Flies)
Subfamily Taeniapterinae
Genus Taeniaptera
Species trivittata (Taeniaptera trivittata)
Explanation of Names
Taeniaptera trivittata Macquart 1835
body ~10 mm(1)
e US (NY-FL to MI-TX)(2)
Said to be ant mimics. Missouri Department of Conservation--Stilt-legged Flies:
"Taeniaptera trivittata has a nifty way of mimicking ants: the otherwise clear wings are marked with black dots to resemble an ant's body shape."
See Also
Rainieria antennaepes and the southern Calobatina geometra, which both look similar. They can be distinguished from photos as follows (Chris Angell):
Eyes: Taeniaptera sp. - maroon & striped; Rainieria antennaepes - bright red, unstriped; Calobatina geometra - dark, unstriped
Body shape: Taeniaptera sp. - less slender; Rainieria antennaepes - more slender; Calobatina geometra - more slender
Wing pattern: Taeniaptera sp. - a circular, bulls-eye like pattern; Rainieria antennaepes - a triangular dark spot; Calobatina geometra - usually unmarked, sometimes like R. antennaepes
Forelegs: Taeniaptera trivittata - first tarsomere dark, remaining tarsomeres light (apical tarsomere dark in the rare southern Taeniaptera lasciva); Rainieria antennaepes - first tarsomere white, sometimes with apical tarsomere dark; Calobatina geometra - first tarsomere white, last 2-3 tarsomeres dark