Saturday, January 4, 2014

Shadow Shots

I have seen this insect often near the bruised trunks of citrus trees. I am wondering if they are the adults of the small maggots developing in the cambium layer of the tree, feeding on the sap flowing from the cut phloem vessels. I am sure the sap is nutritious and sweet, as it is supposed to be the food of the plant manufactured in the leaves termed as photosynthates. They are transported downwards via the phloem vessels to the roots and other parts of the plants. This sap is a very high energy food, and it is nourishing the larvae to adulthood. The larvae continue to grow and the tree struggles for survival. 

However, a lot of frequent observations did not give me answers as to the identity of the insect, nor its actual relationship with the plant. Sometimes it alights on some leaves which almost serves as its camouflage, like in the following photos. Lastly, the length of the adult insect is only 1 centimeter, excluding the appendages.

 I love its shadow, mimicking a leaf spot!

An unusual body part at the front of its head is the pair of orange protrusions, which might have been serving as antenna. That is a bit funny as antenna, but maybe they are the later versions of antennae! hahaha, what do you think?

Updates: I just learned of this insect. It is a stilt-legged fly, of the Order Diptera. If you will google it, there are a lot of genus and species, and they are mostly in the tropical and subtropical regions. I even saw a video in you tube which is interesting as it seems to have a very simple but regular exercise with its front pair of legs.


  1. Very interesting. Excellent macros.

  2. Neat insect capture and cool macros! Have a happy weekend!

  3. Gorgeous macro shot of the fascinating insect ~ Happy 2014 ^_^

  4. Fantastic macros! Gorgeous shots!

  5. He is fascinating...I love the details you captured including the shadow.

  6. Amazing shots! Thanks for your comment (my Grandson & his dog Ellie). None of the dogs belong to me!

  7. Looks like a wasp species to me.
    Hopefully its not the harming type to the plants.

  8. What a fascinating creature, and your photos are great, too. Please do inform us when you learn more about this species!


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