Convergent evolution

21 01 2011

A shore fly of the Ochthera species

I spent a very relaxing hour taking photographs of flies this afternoon whilst an American guest climbed the Domboshava rock just outside Harare. The flies (pictured) were hunting along the edge of a very shallow rock pool. It’s a shore fly of the Ochthera specis and interestingly the forelegs closely resemble those of the mantids in a case of what I would call convergent evolution. Their prey was much too small for me to see but they had some pretty aggressive behaviour towards each other and appeared at times to be territorial. They are also the only flies I have ever seen with the ability to walk sideways!

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