Zucchini Monster

Back on October 21, I spotted a weird little thing inching along the kitchen counter, where Julia had recently set a pile of zucchini from the garden. IMG_9532

Its head was constantly bobbing and swinging around, but eventually I managed to get a shot of its face, such as it was.


I put it in a jar of soil with some leaf litter, and it overwintered in the fridge with all the jars and vials of leafminers.  Two days ago, it emerged as an adult.

IMG_1433 IMG_1438
I had figured out shortly after photographing the larva that it was some kind of soldier fly (Stratiomyidae), and when I showed photos of the larva to Norm Woodley he was fairly certain that it belonged to the genus Allognosta, subfamily Beridinae. So now that I had an adult fly, I ran the photos through the key in Maurice T. James’ 1939 review of the Nearctic Beridinae, and I easily arrived at Allognosta fuscitarsisWith Norm’s blessing on this ID, I sent the fly back out into the yard yesterday.

His face as an adult is decidedly more pleasing to the eye.


About Charley Eiseman

I am a freelance naturalist, endlessly fascinated by the interconnections of all the living and nonliving things around me. I am the lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), and continue to collect photographs and information on this subject. These days I am especially drawn to galls, leaf mines, and other plant-insect interactions.
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6 Responses to Zucchini Monster

  1. A-mazing. You make me want to learn entomology. Thank you.

  2. Lisa Rainsong says:

    Those eyes are absolutely stunning! I don’t often post comments, but I read your blog regularly.

  3. John Coffman says:

    How do you know when its time to remove from the fridge?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Most beautiful fly I have ever seen.

  5. Reblogged this on Tales from the Bug Whisperer and commented:
    This is interesting. I’ve never seen one and I’ve grown a lot of zucchini.

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