Finding a bug I’ve never seen before always excites me, but I’ve been fairly ambivalent towards flies up until now. While I have many photos of various different flies, this ‘picture-winged’ euleia heraclei – if that’s what it is – is the first one to really intrigue me (well, except for the behaviour of some – but that’s for another post).
The euleia heraclei is also known as the celery (or hogweed) picture-winged fly. Its penchant for celery makes me think I’ve identified it correctly, as I found it on a lovage plant. Lovage is a herb with a celery-like taste, so it could have confused the fly…or it simply likes the smell. It is, as with most insects, it seems, a pest – especially on celery and parsnips.
I love its expressive face, as a lot of flies seem to have. I’ve not seen many photos of this species with an all-yellow face such as this one though.
It’s easy to guess why it’s called a ‘picture-winged’ fly, with its dappled markings, too. There doesn’t appear to be much information about the celery fly (well, not that I can find), but similar species have garnered enough interest to warrant column inches:
A fly that seems to have appeared en masse last weekend is the crane fly, commonly known as ‘daddy long legs’, although it doesn’t resemble the insect that I’ve always called this. The ones I’m seeing a lot of now have quite a squishy, fat, pointed grey body – but when I used to live elsewhere in the UK they had a slimmer body with a square end. (NB: Thanks to the informative Bugsandweeds.co.uk I now believe the former to be the female common crane fly and the latter to be the male!)
To confuse matters, harvestmen or opiliones (such as the one below) are also referred to as ‘daddy long legs’. This one only has six legs, rather than eight, but apparently they often deliberately lose a leg if caught by a predator, and this loss is permanent.
- Crane fly mimicry (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- The Death of a Daddy Long Legs (ramblingratz.wordpress.com)
- The Gentle Crane Fly (kathrynpalumbo.com)