Pseudodoros clavatus visiting a spring ladies tresses orchid
Not only humans enjoy ladies tresses orchids. Their small flowers present no obstacle to the variety of bees, flies, and beetles that visit them, nor to the tiny spiders that lurk among their folds.
Here, a syrphid fly with the impressive name Pseudodoros clavatus comes in for a landing. As an interesting side note, this little fly has no common name, unless you’re willing to count “that thing that looks like a wasp.” Johan Christian Fabricius, a Danish zoologist, named the species Dioprosopa clavata in 1794, but a 1903 revision resulted in Pseudodoros clavatus.
It’s been suggested that the wasp-like shape may help to protect the insect from predators. Taking on a syrphid fly is one thing: attacking a wasp quite another.
Can you see the infinitesimal headphones the little fly’s wearing? No? Well, if you could, and if it shared them with you for a moment, you might find it’s listening to perfect music for visiting a Spiranthes — Spyro Gyra’s “Morning Dance.”