Is this some kind of fly?
There were about a half dozen of these at the edge of a bed of ivy, zig-zagging around each other and landing for a few short seconds at a time. I thought they were bees at first, but capturing one dispelled that notion. Any idea what this is?
Eric: I mistakenly put several insect ID requests in the insect discussion forum. Once I discovered the mistake, I could not find a way to move them to this forum. Sorry for the "lapse." AB
Yeah, I recognize them, I just dream of getting images like these!
They are indeed flies, soldier flies in the family Stratiomyidae. The species is Ptecticus trivittatus, at least I'm pretty sure. Larvae feed in rotting vegetation.
I continue to be in awe of your ability to identify and describe. Thanks a million for the help. I'm a pretty good "coach" on imaging. Your stuff is already very good, but P/msg me and we can work on it.
Thank you for the flattery :-)