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Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly (Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly

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Image Credit: Monica R. in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, CA
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A large fly that hovers, the Delhi Flower-loving Fly has federal protection because of habitat destruction of sandy dunes in the foothills of the San Gabriel and San Bernadino Mountains.

Updated: 06/07/2022; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly is a protected insect found in a small region in California. It is found in the sandy foothills of the San Gabriel and San Bernadino Mountains. This species was added to the Endangered Species Act in 1993 and is the only fly on the list. Habitat loss due to development of the area was the main threat to the species.

Large and fast adults can hover in place, a useful skill for drinking flower nectar. Females lay fertilized eggs in sandy soil where the larvae stay until emerging as an adult. Sightings are not common, but they are most active in the summer months.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Delhi-Sands-Flower-Loving-Fly

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Mydidae
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          Genus: Rhaphiomidas
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            Species: terminatus abdominalis

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 37mm (0.98" to 1.45")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; tan; black
Descriptors: large; big; hover; bee-like; flying; endangered; beneficial; protected

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 25mm (1.0in) and 37mm (1.5in)
Lo: 25mm
Md: 31mm
Hi: 37mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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