clegg's picture

Small flies on Trollius

Observed: 1st July 2008 By: cleggclegg’s reputation in Invertebrates
Small flies on Trollius
Description:

Couple of tiny flies sitting on the petals of a Trollius (giant buttercup) in my garden in Edinburgh. Can someone at least give me the family name please?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Jonathan's picture

Not just sitting there, but

Not just sitting there, but mating. I wonder if this could be significant because Trollius is a species that is pollinated by flies of the genus Chiastocheta that actually parasitize the flower. This is a very uncommon phenomenon, apart from figs which all have such a system.

Some populations of Trollius, including cultivars I suppose, are self-pollinated, but it would be fascinating if these flies are Chiastocheta.

Here is a blog post about this: http://ptyxis.blogspot.co.uk/2008_05_01_archive.html

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

ophrys's picture

Dolis

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like your Dolis), these are definitely Long-legged flies of the Dolichopodidae, as John suggested, rather than Chiastocheta.

Ian
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Jonathan's picture

Yeah, well I knew it was a

Yeah, well I knew it was a long-shot. It would be great to have more information about the extent of this interaction in the UK. Its seems quite common in N.Europe. Is it under-recorded here, or just rare?

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

clegg's picture

Thanks

Thanks, John, Jonathan and Ophrys. I enjoyed reading around the possibility of Chiastocheta A fascinating dilemma for the plant - "if you pollinate my flowers you can eat some of the seeds (but not too many)"! But it seems unlikely that a population of Chiastocheta could survive dead-heading of the two or three plants in an Edinburgh garden. I can go with Dolichopodidae. Thanks. Colin

Colin