UCCE Sonoma County
University of California
UCCE Sonoma County

Posts Tagged: freeloader fly

A Bright Face in the Garden: Banded Argiope

A banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata, stretches out near its wrapped bee in a Vacaville, Calif. pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We have bright faces in our Vacaville, Calif., pollinator garden. The bright faces are usually that of assorted bees and butterflies nectaring on members of the sunflower family: Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and blanketflowers (Gaillardia). But we did not expect to see this bright face: a...

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:01 PM

There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There is such a thing as a free lunch. And a free breakfast. And a free dinner. And a free snack. That is, if you're a freeloader fly. If you've ever watched a spider snare a bee or other insect in its web, and wrap it like a fit-to-be-tied holiday present,  you've probably seen...

Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM

Buddy, Can You Share a Meal?

Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The next time you see a spider eating a bee snared in its web, look closely. The spider may not be alone. It may have a dinner companion.  A freeloader fly. The common name, "freeloader fly," refers to the Milichiidae family. These flies are very tiny, about 1 to 3 mm in length, so you may...

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

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