The Very Green, Long-legged Fly

metallic green longlegged fly with bright green eyes half in shadow

Many of the members of family Dolichopodidae, the long-legged flies, have green or greenish eyes, but the camera flash renders them red. In this case the very bright green eyes stayed the same!

This long-legged fly was a bit atypical in my experience in that it was very green. The shiny metallic body betrayed no blues or reds which seems common enough among these small flies. The eyes tend to have some hint of red that comes out full-blown and bloody once the camera flash bounces off it. When I saw the brilliant, uniformly green eyes, I figured there would be the usual “reddening,” but instead the eyes reproduced extremely true to their color in natural light. I would file this phenomenon under the insect photographer category of “cheap thrill” (since I have no idea how the colors and reflections work). I was pretty happy about it, and the phenomenon turned a fairly common, take-it-or-leave-it subject into an inspiring one! It just goes to show, you never know what’s waiting behind that shutter release; all you have to do is press the trigger.


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