|Black Scavenger Fly - Nemopoda nitidula|
Family Sepsidae. Sepsid larvae live in excrement and decaying material.
Live adult fly photographed at West Chicago Prairie, DuPage County, Illinois. Size: 5mm
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I happened upon a pile of fresh excrement out in the woods and it was indeed a busy place, with all sorts of flying insects competeing for space at the trough. The tiniest (<4mm) of the visible participants was this curious-looking fly in the Sepsidae family. They are fairly common here in the American Midwest if you know where to look. (Of course, I can't blame anyone not relishing the sight of shit, but we fly enthusiasts go where the action is. Ye of faint heart may see these little gals hanging out in low foliage too, sans poo).
Turns out she was laying eggs (below) but I didn't notice what she was doing until later. Otherwise I'd have taken more shots.
The Black Scavenger Flies (34 North American species) are small, shiny black, with round heads and the most common genus, Sepsis, has a pigment spot on the tip of the wing. Larvae live in excrement and decaying material.
Flies of North America - Order Diptera. Flies are prevalent in virtually all habitats, with over 16,000 species in North America. Flies can be distinguished from all other insects in that they only have one pair of normal wings. The other pair has evolved into small ball-like structures called halteres. Most flies have compound eyes and mouthparts adapted for piercing, lapping or sucking fluids.
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