Joris van Alphen Photography

Into the Wild

A (Slightly) Different Perspective on the Dung Fly

Posted June 21, 2013. Filed under: Biology, Nature, Photography. Leave a comment.

Yellow dung flies (Scathophaga stercoraria) feeding on oxeye daisy pollen (Leucanthemum vulgare).

A (slightly) different perspective on the yellow dung fly—two females feeding on oxeye daisy pollen. Picardie, France.

One would be forgiven to think that dung flies spend their entire lives around dung. After all, if you head into a meadow and find yourself a fresh cow-pat, it is more than likely covered with dung flies. And indeed, the males do spend their lives around dung—first as larvae living inside it, then as adults sitting on it as they wait for females to arrive and mate with. The females, however, spend much of their adult lives around flowers, where they prey on smaller insects and feed on pollen, as the two yellow dung fly females in this photo demonstrate. Only when they are ready to mate and lay eggs will they return to the dung once again.

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