Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Artichoke fly

Recently, I was strolling through the vegetable garden at the elementary school. It has been more or less neglected all summer. All over the massive artichokes, I noticed lots of these cute little flies.

These are Terellia fuscicornis. Artichoke flies, of Mediterranean origin. They are not really a pest of commercially grown artichokes, because the fly only wants to put its maggots into the flower after it has bloomed, and artichokes are harvested for market well before that stage. They might actually be helpful in controlling invasive artichoke thistle, since it's in the same family.

Some of them had long tails, which I'm guessing are ovipositors.

I love their colorful "shades"!

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