Monday, October 02, 2006

Fairy Flies

I call these flies Fairy Flies, but I don't know their actual, Latin name. They appear at a distance as sky-blue/purple round spheres floating in the air. As you can see from the photo, they're VERY easy to catch - as I mentioned, they mostly float, they don't really buzz around. From the angle shown here, they don't look as bluish and bright as they do when they're in the air. They have their butt end covered in what looks like fur, and their attenae (which you can't clearly see here) look almost like feathers. And their wings in the sunshine shimmer like dragonfly wings, with a rainbow type shimmer. They look to me like a Fairy Princess decked out for a ball! :D They only come around in very late summer/early fall - I wish I knew what they're called, I'd like to learn more about them. If anyone knows anything, email me @ :D It's interesting too, I've never seen them in any other area of Nova Scotia, certainly not in Dartmouth where I grew up. Maybe they're just an Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia bug? Hard to say...

I'm so glad I finally got a picture of one of them! I look forward to their arrival every year!

[EDIT: October 8, 2006 - got more pics!]

Update Sept 2007: I wrote to the "What is this pest" photo identification page, where specialist volunteers and others identify photos of bugs people send in. Their mega-contributor, retired entomologist Ed Saugstad, id'd this as a flying Wooly Aphid. An aphid! My sworn enemy, second only to slugs as a destructive force in my garden - "farmed" by ants, aphids suck the very life essense from my plants, and now here, it turns out my beloved fairy flies are one of them! Bleargh! Now I'm actually glad that there aren't many of them around every year.

I think I'll still call them fairy flies though...there's still something magical about them... :)