Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Menace

I found this unusually colourful female cranefly Nephrotoma crocata busy laying eggs in the flower borders in Durham University Botanic Garden. This wasp-like colour scheme looks like a fine example of mimicry,  pretending to be something dangerous as a means of defence, and its jerky movements as it poked its tail end in the soil added to a convincing air of menace. It's harmless though - a 'sheep in wolf's clothing'.

4 comments:

  1. I thought they all looked the same - I've learned something new again.

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  2. We used to get squadrons of plain brown crane flies in the tent when camping; this type (Hull City supporters?) would have been more alarming.

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  3. It's the first time I've ever seen one of these, Toffeeapple

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  4. Hi Robadob, We get a lot of the plain brown ones coming in through lit windows at night, shedding legs all over the place....

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