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Photo#361500
Fly on cactus, associated with Cochineal - Leucopis bellula

Fly on cactus, associated with Cochineal - Leucopis bellula
Peters Canyon, Orange, Orange County, California, USA
December 29, 2009
Size: guess ~3mm
Apparently, it was a slow day for this particular fly. Typical of its species, it sits on the end of a cactus needle, facing the plant and somewhere in the vicinity of cochineal. This one stayed on the same needle for at least a half hour, as I saw it a second time on the return trip of my hike. Given the very prickly pear that supported the needle, I couldn't get too close, maybe 18" away. As I tried different angles, the fly rotated on the needle.

Another fly I shot did walk down the needle to the cactus blade. I've seen others walking on the blade, typically going from one clump of needles to another, but haven't seen any enter the cochineal.

Images of this individual: tag all
Fly on cactus, associated with Cochineal - Leucopis bellula Fly on cactus, associated with Cochineal - Leucopis bellula Fly on cactus, associated with Cochineal - Leucopis bellula Have you seen any of these? (The fly's close to the center of the image.) - Leucopis bellula

Moved
Moved from Leucopis.

Leucopis bellula
Leucopis bellula again. I've reared these off cochineal on Opuntia - and I had many of the microneedles to remember it!

 
Man, do I know what you mean.
I was picking out needles days afterwards. Nasty stuff!