A fruit fly with swagger

It’s all about how you hold your wings. A seemingly unassuming fly, resting on gray denim, wings folded like calm hands:

peacockflydownThen twack the wings pop:

peacockflyThe peacock fly!

peacockfly2This dandy belongs to the picture-winged fly family (Ulidiidae), a clan for whom romance is expressed through ornamented dance. Wings quiver, feet stomp, heads tap. They seek rocks, twigs, and even human legs as ballrooms. Like other fruit flies, they feed by slurping sap and rotting fruit. Females lay eggs under punky bark or in rotting vegetation. The larvae squirm, a proto-dance of kinds, perhaps. This costumed strutter lingered for half an hour, playing the light through his wings, leaving only when his human Marley flooring moved on.

peacockfly3Dipteran-discovery, phone-camera, and choreography consultation credits: Katie Lehman.


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