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Genus Rhamphomyia

Empis sp. ? - Rhamphomyia dance fly? - Rhamphomyia black- and gray-legged fly - Rhamphomyia - female Rhamphomyia sp.? - Rhamphomyia longicauda - female Dance Fly? - Rhamphomyia - male Stout dance fly - Rhamphomyia - female Rhamphomyia? - Rhamphomyia - male Empididae? - Rhamphomyia
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily Empidoidea
Family Empididae (Dance Flies)
Subfamily Empidinae
Genus Rhamphomyia
Explanation of Names
Rhamphomyia Meigen 1822
Greek rampho 'beak' + plus myia 'fly'
Numbers
~150 described spp. in our area(1) + at least 400 undescribed; 450 described spp. worldwide[cite:745518]
Identification
Similar to Empis, but wing venation different
Range
n. hemisphere [cite:745518], incl. much of North America
Habitat
Moist areas, along edges of fresh (and salt?) water.
Season
Mar-Jun in NC(2); May-Jun in MN
Life Cycle
Noted, as are other genera of this family, for forming mating swarms. Males capture a small insect and offer it as a nuptial gift to a female.
Remarks
Comments on swarming (paraphrased) from Paul Beuk:
Swarms can be all male, all female, or mixed. In single sex swarms, it may be that individuals of the opposite sex do not form swarms but just temporarily join the swarm for mate selection; or each sex may form their own separate nearby swarms, with individuals leaving theirs and entering the others to select a mate.
Different species swarm at different times of day. Some may swarm during the whole day, others maybe only for an hour at dusk, etc.
The location of the swarm is determined by markers. These may be very specific (under a overhanging branch in the sun, so the swarms may move with the sun) or rather 'generally defined' (along a slope, creating a very 'long' swarm, or over the water surface of a brook).
Nuptial gifts are not known for all mating dance flies. They are mostly found in the subfamily Empidinae (in genera like Empis, Rhamphomyia and Hilara...the latter including the balloon flies).
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.