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9:38AM

Dance of the flies

Recently at Castle Water I noticed swarms of 'dancing' flies on the muddy sheltered margins of the pit. A closer look revealed them to be Poecilobothrus nobilitatus, one of the long-legged flies or Dolichopodidae. Shape-wise this species is fairly typical of the group, with longish legs and a metallic green colouration. However, males of this species can be immediately identified by the dark wings with a white tip (just visible on this photo). The males use their wings to signal to females during courtship, waving them backward and forward and jumping around.  I found this video on youtune http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdOIaLwlBVY  which shows this. Quite fun to watch.

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