Wipe ’em Clean

Robber Fly Cleaning Its Legs

I caught this perfect little thief grooming itself on a wooden fence’s railing. As an insect enthusiast and photographer, I often see bees and wasps and flies practicing good hygiene. I’ve read it serves a variety of purposes: clearing debris from the eyes for better vision; keeping dirt out of joints to prevent what I can only imagine is something like insect arthritis; and keeping the precisely designed insect streamlined for optimal aerodynamics. To be clean, in this case, is to be free. The dirt falls to the ground, and the fly rises into the sky.

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