This might just be a photo of a shiny fly standing on an Agapanthus leaf, but don’t be deceived.
This fly is actually one of the most elusive and difficult things to photograph in my garden. Every day one of them (there might be more than one, it is hard to tell) comes out, just when I need it to, like it actually wants to be photographed. Ha!
At first glance I thought this shiny guy was a beetle who hadn’t yet folded up his wings. When I looked closer I realized that it was a small fly (only around 10mm) whose wings overlapped over its back instead of folding down its sides like most of our other flies.
I found this fly very interesting, partly because of the amazingly bright colours, but also because it has a huge butt! Its backside is almost as big as the entire rest of the fly.
I had never seen a fly like this before*, so I really wanted a picture of it, but boy, was it hard work. The problem is that the bloody thing won’t stand still! It is either constantly taking a few steps and looking around before immediately taking a few more steps, or constantly jumping from leaf to leaf. Aaarrrghhh!!!
I cannot tell you how many photos I have taken of this guy. Dozens every day for a week. Thank goodness I don’t have to pay for developing anymore! They are nearly all blurry, or taken as the fly bounces out of frame and onto another leaf. I was lucky that I caught him just as he stopped by a drop of water for a drink.
Taking photos of bugs out in the garden can be quite hard at times. The bug might be posing perfectly and the wind blows the leaf out of frame. I might finally get everything focused and the bug zooms off, never to be seen again. Jack might run up to see what I am doing and ruin everything! I have taken zillions of photos of unfocused bugs or of nothing at all.
Anyway, enough whining! Finally, I have a picture of the fly, in focus, and pointing at the camera to share with you. Yippee!
*I was totally stumped when I tried to identify this fly but in my internet travels I found a contact form for the Australian Museum. Who better to ask! Dr David Britton was impressively speedy in his reply and that means I now know that this is a soldier fly in the family Stratiomyidae.