Monday, April 03, 2006

Sallow flower flies

The small black anthomyiid flies of the genus Egle are very common now, resting on any pale coloured raised object to warm up in the sun. There were fifty five on my seat by Troy Track yesterday, of two or three species.

The name 'Egle' was coined by Frenchman Robineau-Desvoidy in 1830 and may refer to the eponymous Lithuanian folk heroine who turned into a fir tree. The word also means 'fir tree' in Lithuanian. However, Egle flies have a symbiotic relationship with sallows. They help to pollinate the flowers and the larvae develop in them after they have fallen, so both species benefit, neither is disadvantaged.

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