Saturday, March 28, 2009

Phorid (Scuttle) Flies

These flies belong to a large family called Phoridae or Scuttle Flies. They are parasites on many different invertebrates. These photos are of two species (Pseudacteon obtusus and P. tricupsis) attacks the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta). They quickly lay an egg in the thorax of the ant, then the larva hatches and migrates to the head of the ant where it eats out the head capsule, which eventually falls off!

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About Me

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John is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin. Kendra is a Professor at St. Edwards University in Austin. John has focused on dragonflies and damselflies in his career. He has two books Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-central United States and The Damselflies of Texas. He is currently working on the Dragonflies of Texas. John and Kendra are also currently both working on revising the Peterson Field Guide to Insects of North America. We have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Latin America, Africa and other parts of the world where we enjoy taking photos of pretty much anything that will allow us to capture its image. We are lucky enough to be able to teach students about the amazing biodiversity we see and to travel and photograph together.