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Are these mites on Hoverfly?

 
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Delilah



Joined: 12 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Are these mites on Hoverfly? Reply with quote

Hello - this is the first time I have seen a hoverfly with mites...are they actually feeding or just along for the ride, please? Or could these white things be something else?
I live in Suffolk.
[img]P1200024 by DelilahHall, on Flickr[/img]
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1544

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm not at all sure what this is - I don't think they are mites as there seem to be no form when magnified. My suspicion is a fungus but I cannot be certain.
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Delilah



Joined: 12 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

I did wonder but all the photos I have researched of these poor creatures with fungal attacks mainly show the stuff either underneath or in bands around the abdomen. Of course, I might have caught the fly at the very start of an attack.

I even wondered if it had picked up large pollen-type stuff - but the white things really are too shiny and regular. They seemed to be sitting on the hairs of the fly.

I just wish I had a better camera.

I'll watch to see if it returns.
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anymarks



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Delilah
I think I would second Roger on this one - they do look like the fruiting bodies of a fungus. You can see a similar effect on the Melanostoma scalare in Jaybees posting 'Eristalis by the bucketful'

All the mites I have come across have been red, brown, greyish, I don't recall any white ones.

Entomophthora infection, across a wide range of species, has been particularly common this year on my patch of Norfolk.

Regards, Neil
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Delilah



Joined: 12 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your replies..I was out this morning to see if the same one was about (hard to miss) but we are inundated with them at the moment and after a couple of hours I gave up.
The fly had nothing under it's abdomen (I saw it turn when I was watching it before photographing) so I expect the poor creature was at the start of the invasion.
Not pleasant to see the later effects of the fungus on the hoverflies.

By the bye, I did happen to see a stunning metallic bronze coloured slimline hoverfly, it was quite flighty and took off before I could focus on it...looked exactly like the one pictured in the above discussion..I have not seen one with that colouring before.
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