Picture-winged Fly



This is , a . The fly gets its common name from its striking wing pattern; it has two white triangles on the leading edge of each wing and a few decorative white swirls on a shiny brown background. Very attractive!

Picture-winged flies lay their eggs in rotten vegetation. The larvae spend a few weeks feeding there, then pupate for a few weeks, and then emerge as adults. When the weather cools, late season larvae crawl into the ground and become quiescent for the winter. They following spring, they wiggle upward, pupate, become adults, and start the cycle again.

I saw numerous picture-winged flies sunning themselves on benches in Park this summer (I’m assuming they were sunning, but maybe they were speed-dating). The next generation is surely sleeping under the grass now, not to be seen again until next spring .

Head-on, the fly looks like it is wearing a tiny gas mask. As it walks, it moves its wings in a rowing motion

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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