Dolichopodidae, or the long-legged flies, are a large family of “true flies” with more than 7,000 described species. Or so says wikipedia. They also tend to have beautiful metallic colors. These two were spotted on the pepper plants in my garden. I believe they were involved in a mating ritual or territorial dispute. The one in flight was performing a hovering/flyby act while the other watched.
Long-legged flies are not garden pests, and may even be helpful. These were very small at around 5mm, and it was quite a challenge to get a picture with both of them, and in focus! However, there something else in the garden with them. It was an even smaller fly that I would estimate at 2-3mm, (possibly also Dolichopodidae), which I lost track of and was unable to photograph. Sad!
A new “life butterfly” for me today, thanks to my wife who spotted it first: Euphydryas phaeton, aka the Baltimore Checkerspot. This butterfly was incredibly cooperative and allowed me to take as many pictures as I needed to get a good one.
I’ve posted photos of this fly in the past, but this is the first time I’ve captured the male & female together, and definitely the first time I have seen a mating event. The mating flies were still capable of flight, and I had to chase them down to get this photograph. So little is known about the Golden-backed Snipe Fly, that entomologists are not even 100% sure what they eat, where prefer to lay their eggs, and how many molts the fly larvae pass through.