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695 Views 1 Reply Last post: Jul 25, 2013 4:33 PM by ChrisR RSS
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Jul 25, 2013 12:45 PM

Fly-Butterfly interaction

This Large White was being continually hassled by the Fly in the photo's, until the Butterfly flew off however, the Fly would lie in wait for her to return & when she did, once again hassle/ hitch a ride.  It was only the Large White that interested the Fly.  Bees & Skippers visited the thistle head, none of them of any interest to the Fly.

I'd be interested to learn what was going on here & of the identification of the Fly - a parasite?  I suspected some kind of ant mimic/ scavenger Fly but understood they fed on dung & were not parasitic?

Any help appreciated

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 25, 2013 4:33 PM (in response to TRW)
    Re: Fly-Butterfly interaction

    Excellent photos and very interesting behaviour too. The fly is indeed a parasitoid called Phania funesta but Phania are not parasitoids of butterflies - they attack small burrowing shieldbugs from the family Cydnidae (more specifically Legnotus limbosus). Phania belong to a subfamily that are entirely bug parasitoids too, so there isn't a chance that they are interested in the butterfly as a host. Phania do seem to be very attracted to sunny places though and I have often seen them basking in the middle of white flowers so it could be that the fly is getting a bit confused by the large white butterfly.

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