Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sexual Dimorphism in St. Mark's Fly

St. Mark's Fly (Bibio marci) is so called because of its appearance around St. Mark's Day, the 25th of April. This makes them an important pollinator of fruit trees and other crops. They fly in an odd manner with their legs dangling under the body (Chinery, 1997 Collins Gem Insects pp. 189). Sexual dimorphism is quite pronounced in B. marci, with the male have much larger eyes than the female. Males use their specialised eyes to detect and catch females on the wing (Zeil, 1983 Journal of Comparative Physiology 150 pp. 379-393)

Male Bibio marci

Female Bibio marci

Mating of Bibio mari

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