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Flower-loving fly - Toxomerus marginatus

Flower-loving fly - Toxomerus marginatus
Williamson County, Texas, USA
February 13, 2007
Size: <10mm
This insect had a dark (appeared black) thorax with one central pale stripe, perched with wings spread (as here) on flowers, and the abdomen appeared "flat", not cylindrical. (Oops--should've mentioned that was also true for the other tiny fly, the one with black and white abdomen.) The thorax had a tiny iridescence but not enough to notice from a distance.

All four flies were on the same flowering elbowbush at the same time; there were other flies which I was not able to photograph. In this location, elbowbush is the first woody plant to flower (and one of the few plants of any kind in flower) and they do not all open at once...this was the very first on our place.

perhaps genus Toxomerus. Careful, the usual common name for syrphids is 'flower flies,' and 'flower-loving flies' refers to the much rarer and different looking family Apioceridae. So why do both these families of flies eat from flowers but only one loves the flowers? I don't know, but this is a good example of the problematic ambiguity of common names.

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