Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Bug Mating With A ...Fly?

Today was the first time I have ever seen a Love Bug in North Carolina... what made it especially eventful was it was mating with another bug that looked like a little fly! I have seen a gazillion Love Bug mating frenzies growing up in New Orleans, and the males didn't' look quite like this. Can anyone tell me if this is some special mountain man Love Bug, or have a photographed an inter-insect relationship?You can observe here in the side view above, how the head of the male bug is completely different from the head shape of the female Love Bug - and it is the typical body shape of some species of little black flies. So... what is it?
Any Entomologists out there who can give a positive identity to this mystery man would make my day !!!


Susie Collins said...

I asked an entomologist at UH Hilo, who contacted a colleague, who wrote back:

Order - DIPTERA, Suborder - NEMATOCERA, Family - Bibionidae

The common name for the family Bibionids is march flies. According to Borror, Triplehorn, & Johnson, 6th edit.1964. An Introduction to the Study of Insects, march flies are small to medium-sized, usually dark colored, with short antennae. Many have red or yellow thorax. Adults are most common in spring and early summer, and are sometimes quite abundant. Commonly called "love bugs" because pairs are often seen in copulo (latin for "connected"). Had to look it up. Anyway mucho info on the internet. Here's an example of sexual dimorphism (male & female of the same species appearing entirely different). Similar case re: the mystery bug.

The Oko Box said...

Awesome Susie!
I never knew a Love Bug actually was a fly!!! Kind of humorous really, because people don't seem to know that and don't treat them as flies...
what you are named makes a big difference when you are a bug!