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Macro photo of a dance fly couple mating and eating a fly

June 28th, 2007 · 15 Comments

This is a horror story from my garden! I was walking around enjoying the nice weather and then I noticed some weird looking large flies. After closer inspection it wasn’t just one fly, it was three! Two dance flies were mating and consuming a fly. So I had to document it with my camera and show it to you.
View the photos large to see more details of natures wonders.

Macro photo of hoverfly on dandelion flower
Taken with Olympus E500 digital camera on June 24th, 2007. Click image for larger view.

Macro photo of dance fly couple mating and eating a fly
Taken with Olympus E500 digital camera on June 24th, 2007. Click image for larger view.

Dance flies (Empididae) is a family of flies with over 3000 species. This is possibly Empis tesselata.
They are hunters that capture their prey with the sharp snout, as you can see on the pictures. The males swarm in small groups (thats how they got the name) and each male holds a fly. If a female should fly by, the males offer their prey to her. She chooses the best prey and mates with the male while sucking the fly dry.
Check out this picture of a sawfly eating an insect my other macro pictures here.

Information about the picture:
Camera: Olympus E-500 digital single-lens reflex camera
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Lens: Olympus Zuiko Digital 35mm F3.5 Macro
Location: Laupstad (Andørja), Troms in northern Norway

Tags: Dance fly · Fly · Insect · Macro · Nature · Norway Norwegen Norge · Summer

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lavender // Jun 28, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Dramatic, intense even! Fantastic shots, outrageously well shot – and the subject matter – my goodness, all this goes on whilst most of us are unaware – incredible!
    Fantastic post.
    Cheers, Lavender of the birds & the beads

  • 2 Vancouver Island Daryl // Jun 28, 2007 at 6:18 am

    That should almost be X rated! Its very sharp, niec shot.

  • 3 Rose // Jun 28, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Very nice composition. and intimate shot. hehe.. nice place u got here.

  • 4 B. Kitty // Jun 28, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Great photo!

    Its sexy, yet dirty. Humans aren’t the only ones that get hungry during and after sex.

  • 5 Shams // Jun 29, 2007 at 1:47 am

    Nice photo. How did you meet the couple, in forest or in your garden??

  • 6 Mark // Jun 29, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    I wonder do they have a cigarette after they have finished!!!

    Cheers Mark

  • 7 Earl // Jun 30, 2007 at 1:14 am

    Very nice macro. Very sharp, and an interesting subject.

  • 8 freshroses // Jul 3, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    my gosh..that’s so eerie to look.never really a fan of mating flies!!

  • 9 justinsane // Jul 5, 2007 at 8:24 am

    You like to watch…..thats not nice.

  • 10 Jackal // Jul 8, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Excellent capture.

  • 11 Macro photo of sawfly eating an insect // Jul 15, 2007 at 12:33 am

    [...] captured this the same day as I took the photos of two dance fly mating and eating. Check out that blog post here. Macro photographing is so entertaining because you get to see real drama in the world of [...]

  • 12 BURRYA // Aug 11, 2007 at 8:03 am

    all your photos are amazing, but this one is especially GREAT!!!!

  • 13 RWS Photo Blog // Jan 1, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Check out similar post at http://rwsphoto.blogspot.com/2007/12/housefly-sex-series-2.html

  • 14 Close up picture of housefly (Musca domestica) on snow - First insect in Northern Norway // Mar 12, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    [...] out some macro pictures of flies from last year: -Dance fly couple mating and eating a fly -Hoverfly on a poppy flower Information about the picture: Camera: Olympus E-500 digital SLR [...]

  • 15 Filip H.F. "FiXato" Slagter // May 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I recently made a similar series:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=211607&id=628129918&l=6954318305
    When I first saw a couple doing it, I was thinking it was just some weird kind of fluke or something.. but then I saw 3 couples of them doing the same thing!
    I just had to look it up and found your post.
    Nature sure has odd creatures. ;-)

    I love your high quality macro shots! Thanks for sharing :)