Saturday, August 20, 2005
The tiny flies are feeding on the stink bug which is the lynx spider's prey. Thanks to the people at Bug Guide for the i.d. on these milichid flies. This family of flies has a diverse repertoire of lifestyles, as described here. These flies specialize in waiting for a certain predator to capture it's prey, then swooping in to suck nutrients off of the presumably still living unfortunate. Klepto- for thieving; parasite- for, well, parasite. The parasitism is on both the spider and the prey (which is not always stink bugs: I've seen these flies on other prey including honeybees). Not sure what the fly larvae feed upon . . . will research that further. The complexity of the bug world never stops amazing me.