A brief respite from photography posts: another bizarre phorid

My friend in New Zealand, Hugh Oliver, saw the picture of the wingless female phorid in my last blog post, and asked for more photos of weird phorids. I didn’t even know he was looking at my blog, but just for him I am posting this photo of an extremely bizarre specimen we found just this week in material from Thailand. I think it is a female of the genus Rhynchomicropteron, but if so, it is an extremely unusual one! Thanks to Lisa Gonzalez for pointing it out to me, and Inna-Marie Strazhnik for photographing it. Maybe it can be number 16 in Terry Wheeler’s posts about why flies are great.

female Rhynchomicropteron?

8 comments on “A brief respite from photography posts: another bizarre phorid

  1. Excellent fly, weird abdomen. Is it likely an ant associate?

    I’ve sometimes wondered what factors / selection pressures lead to extreme development of spiny bristles across such a range of body parts and such a range of families.

    • phoridae says:

      If it is what I think it is, other species in the genus live with nasty
      Leptogenys ants. But those other species lack the long setae.

      Such bristlelike setae must be protective.

  2. […] link to see a mimetic adult phorid that looks like an ant larva). Here’s a phorid that Brown just posted on flyobsession (reproduced with his permission). It’s white, wingless, and sports a bunch of huge bristles […]

  3. Jeff Bjorck says:

    Wow, amazing specimen!

  4. Soraya says:

    Que belleza!

  5. Russell Cox says:

    Great photo Brian, I just had to print a copy and leave it on the coffee table for morning tea conversation – phorids are always good value. Are the long, dorsal abdomenal bristles feathered / barbed or are they relatively smooth?

  6. Are the larvae also so wierd morphologically?

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