Some Like It Hot (Thick-headed fly, Conopidae)

thick-headed fly on hot oregano

A thick-headed fly (Conopidae) feeds on a hot oregano plant.

One of my favorite kind of flies are the amazing wasp mimics of family Conopidae (and likely subfamily Conopinae, in this case). The coloration, the false petiole (i.e. the narrow, stalk-like “waist”) and the elongated antennae are such a smashing combination, it’s hard to notice the fleshy bump on the head that gives these flies their common name of “thick-headed flies.” I do not seem that often, so it’s always a treat, and this one was a first for the backyard which made it even better. I only got off a few shots, but I thought this one came out really well, considering I had to some extra work to remove some motion blur. Purportedly this one is on “hot oregano” (or so I’m told!), which is a rather nice plant; those white flowers however, especially the bright one on the right side, required some extra work for the black and white version of this shot (see below).

thick-headed fly on hot oregano in black and white

A thick-headed fly (Conopidae) feeds on a hot oregano plant. (Black and white version)

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3 thoughts on “Some Like It Hot (Thick-headed fly, Conopidae)

  1. Nice capture. I know there are bee mimics but was aware of wasp mimics. Now that you point it out I can see it is a mimic but I’m sure if I had run across it I would have labeled it a wasp.

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