I get excited when I realize that I’m looking at something new. With the help of duckduckgo and the right search terms, I was able to identify it as a Feather-legged Fly, probably Trichopoda pennipes. It was flitting around on the grassy field at Bath Nature Preserve this morning.
After a rather overcast morning filled with yardwork, the sun came out in the afternoon so I grabbed my camera and looked for something to photograph. Birds were scarce, but insects were plentiful, with several species I had not seen before.
Large and exotic, this fly is actually harmless to humans with neither a bite nor a sting. The female lays its eggs in carpenter bee nests, where the fly larvae seek out and devour carpenter bee larvae before they can mature and escape.
An interesting fly in both appearance and behavior. Something like the “Brown Cowbird” of insects, it will lay its eggs in the nest of wasps. The unsuspecting wasp stocks the nest with provisions for its own larva, but this fly’s larva gets fed instead.