foxy's picture

DEAD FLIES ON COCKSFOOT GRASS

Observed: 17th October 2009 By: foxyfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebrates
DEAD FLIES ON COCKSFOOT GRASS
Description:

SMALL FLIES ABOUT 7-9mm LONG GREEN AND WHITE BANDS ON ABDOMEN FOUND DEAD ON GRASS SEEDHEAD IN EARLY MORNING POSSIBLY KILLED BY FROST.THEY WERE STILL CLINGING TO GRASS 5 DAYS LATER

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Entomophthora interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

killer fungus

The fly looks like some sort of muscid fly (family Muscidae), and it has been killed by a fungus (genus Entomophthora, as charlieb says) - it is the fungus which produces the pale 'frost bands' as it releases its spores.

See also:
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/1384

and the link to Encyclopedia of Life shows a very similar image to yours:
http://www.eol.org/pages/18344

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

foxy's picture

Killer fungus

Amazing!
I never heard of it,I did notice that one of the other flies was quite pink on its abdomen .My frost theory was tempored by a doubt as to why 5 flies would all be caught out on top of grass on a frosty night,but I had no other explanation.That the fungus could make the fly move to the highest point to spread its spores more effectively is really remarkable
Thanks to you both.
Regards foxy

Foxy