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Manipulation of legs by a drone fly.

Observed: 11th April 2012 By: grant burleighgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebrates
107
108
Dronelegs1
Dronelegs2
Description:

I observed this fly over 4 minutes: the two individual images represent the end of the sequence and the composites show the fly’s leg movements up till then in order of increasing image number. From image 088 (Composite 1), I infer that we are looking at the rear legs.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

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Addendum

A Rhingia hoverfly, observed a week later in similar cool, showery conditions*, showed a degree of similar behaviour with its back legs but much less vigorously (last image in the second composite). *my iSpot post of 19/04/2012.

Possible explanations for the behaviour in Eristalis that have occurred to me include wing and sensor cleaning and keeping warm against the chance of renewed flight that day if the weather improved. A possibility of survival advantage?