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Fairies in the foliage

December 3, 2017

I always thought that there were fairies in the foliage at my place. Quite often, especially whilst walking through grasses in Spring I would notice brief flashes of colour out of the corner of my eye but when I looked around saw nothing – until I looked closely.

Dolichopodid Fly 1-DSCN6336


The flashes of colour weren’t from fairies at all but from a group of insects known as Dolichopodid Flies (pictured). These flies have long legs, hence the alternative name of Long-legged Flies, and bright iridescent green bodies which when they are not moving seem to blend in perfectly with the foliage on which they are sitting.

The adults are predators feeding on soft-bodied insects such as aphids and mosquito larvae (depending on species). The larvae are ground dwelling and are also predatory.

So, they are not fairies but just like fairies are kind of pretty and useful to have around the garden.

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