Sorry this is not a moths post - nothing interesting in the trap this morning. I don't think the BMERC e-group is still running, so thought I'd try this group.
I fished this fly out of the bottom of my moth trap this morning and
thought I'd found something rather special. I pored over my insect books
and looked online as it had such striking transverse black and white
stripes, but to no avail. Eventually I looked at it under the microscope
and realised that the white fluffy stripes are some kind of fungal
growth. I'm assuming the fungus has developed and spread around the
abdomen following some patterning that was there already. Not sure whether I should show it to a dipterist or a mycologist!
Once critically ill, the fly tends to crawl to a high point,
straighten its hind legs and open its wings, a behaviour that ensures
that the fungal spores are dispersed as widely as possible to infect other flies.