Random Insect: March fly

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March fly photographed 05/02/2014 at Zaleski State Forest near Athens, Ohio.

Surviving for only a few days, adult march flies (Diptera: Bibionidae) spend most of their limited time mating and laying eggs. The adults of several species don’t even eat, but most take nectar from flowers to fuel their endeavors. They also emerge from the ground at about the same time and form loose swarms that maximize reproductive success.

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March fly photographed 05/02/2014 at Zaleski State Forest near Athens, Ohio.

After mating the females dig chambers in soil, lay their eggs, and then die. Once the larvae hatch they feed on decaying plant matter or roots, and some species can be pests of crops. A few species are important pollinators of certain plants.

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March fly photographed 05/02/2014 at Zaleski State Forest near Athens, Ohio.

These insects share a similar body structure to other flies in the nematocera group, including mosquitoes and crane flies. Compared with other flies in the brachycera group they generally have long, narrow bodies and legs and antennae with more than six segments. March flies in particular are normally dark colored with bright red or yellow features. The long, prominent spurs at the ends of the front tibae suggest this individual is of the genus Bibio.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Ecology, Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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