This brilliant fellow lives in a cowpea patch.
This brilliant fellow lives in a cowpea patch.

They are like little gems in the leaves; metallic marvels dancing on the leaves. I’ve seen brilliant emerald green, deep blue, bronze red and golden yellows. All of them are long-legged flies. You’ve seen them, they are everywhere. If you garden or spend any time outdoors, these little guys are everywhere. But they are usually shoo’d away or disregarded because of their diminutive size. And they are flies.

But they are predators of the bad guys. They eat thrips, gobble up aphids, dine on the larvae of many small insects, attack spider mites, and so on. They are good guys. Don’t try to kill them. Plus, look at them, they declare the glory of God. What a creative marvel these metallic wonders are!

Look at the marvelous blues and greens!
Look at the marvelous blues and greens!

If you have loads of long-legged flies in your garden, count your blessings. Beneficial insects are good for our gardens, and broad spectrum insecticides generally are not very helpful. Promote beneficial bugs, they will help you control the bad guys, and most of the time you will win. Here are some links about the Long-legged Fly:

Dolichopodidae at Wikipedia
Family Dolichopodidae – Longlegged Flies at Bug Guide
Galveston County Master Gardeners on the Long-legged Fly

Red and green. They really do some wild interactions among one another.
Red and green. They really do some wild interactions among one another.

 

Advertisements