Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Deer Fly and Another Geometer Moth

click on any photo to view full size

I have photographed these two insects but the photos aren't of the quality I would post on my Photo A Day blog. This butterfly is interesting because it is one of two species but we won't be able to tell which. It is genus Rheumoptera but the species is either hastata or subhastata. You can only tell the difference by looking at the genitalia. Which I did not do. Which ever species it is, this is another geometer moth. All of the geometers I have photographed (here and here) are brown with very narrow bands across the wings, so this moth is very interesting. Butterflies and Moths of North America has no substantial information on these moths except that the subhastata species host is alder and no host is given for the hastata species.

Genus Rheumaptera; hastata/subhastata species group

Chrysops ater

This is a deer fly. In June these flies were everywhere and biting us everywhere. For some reason, they seem to bite my ankles more than anything else. But despite their nastiness, they are pretty with black and clear banded wings. Their faces are fascinating, too, with horizontal orange/red bands. I managed to capture a poor image of this face (see the last photo below and be sure to click on it to view it large) but you can see a better photo of a face at bugguide.net.

Here you can faintly see the banded abdomen of the deer fly.

At this link at bugguide.net you will see four views of Chrysops that they say will enable you to identify any deer fly in North America.

Deer fly face and stinger

Happy bug hunting!



  1. Those are fascinating pictures! We have biting yellow flies here.

  2. Nice pics! SO you're not an insect sexer, huh?

  3. Nice close-ups! I find insects fascinating! Such patterns and variations.

    I like them better though, when they aren't biting me, or buzzing about attempting to.


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