Spring Heath Robber Fly

The Spring Heath Robber Fly (Lasiopogon cinctus) is an insect in the Asilidae family of robber flies. 

The Spring Heath Robber Fly is hairy with bristles and smoky-coloured wings. Its body has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Its dark body is long and tapered with yellow-grey bands on its abdomen. It has a short proboscis (sucking nose) and three simple eyes, called ocelli, between their two compound eyes. Its antennae are short with three segments. It has six spiny black legs. It has a sharp ovipositor (egg-laying segment). 

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Coffin Fly

The Coffin Fy (Phoridea sp.) is a small insect in the Phoridae family of coffin and scuttle flies. It is a phorid fly. It is also known as the Hump-Backed Fly or the Phorid Fly.

The Coffin Fly resembles a Fruit Fly. It has a brown-black body with a humped back (a humped thorax). Sometimes, it is yellow, orange, pale-grey, or pale-white. Its bristly head is rounded with two compound eyes. The male has close-set eyes, whereas the female has wide-set eyes. This is called dichoptic. It has short antennae with feathered tips. It has a short proboscis, which is a tubular mouthpart for sucking nectar from plants. It has six brown legs. Its wings are translucent (see-through) with black veins. Unlike other flies, its wings do not have cross-veins.

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European Crane Fly

The European Crane Fly (Tipula paludosa) is a large insect in the Tipulidae family of crane flies. It is also known as the Marsh Crane Fly.

The European Crane Fly looks like a giant mosquito. It has six very long, thin, fragile legs. The legs easily drop off and re-grow. Its abdomen is long and grey, or brown, or dull yellow, sometimes with a central dark mark along its body. The male has a swollen tip on the end of his abdomen and the female has an ovipositor at the end of her abdomen, which is a tube to lay eggs. It has a large pair of translucent wings.

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European Long-Legged Fly

The European Long-Legged Fly (Dolichopus ungulatus) is an insect in the Dolichopodidae family of true flies. 

The European Long-Legged Fly has six long thin legs, but some do not. Its brownish abdomen is long and broad with segments, and it has a pair of smoky-coloured wings with deep veins. It thorax is metallic green. It has large iridescent metallic green-to-blue compound eyes. It has short mouthparts and a bristly head.

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Tachinid Fly

The Tachinid Fly (Tachina fera) is an insect in the Tachinidae family of true flies.

The Tachinid Fly has a grey thorax (chest) with black stripes. Its abdomen is yellow-orange with two yellow bands. It has a wide black stripe down the middle of its abdomen from head to tail. It is bristly (with thick black hair) on its thorax and abdomen. Its head is yellowish with long yellow and black antennae. It has large red compound eyes. Its wings have a slight yellow tinge with brown veins. The male has black legs with yellow tips, and the female has yellowish legs.

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Yellowjacket Hoverfly

The Yellowjacket Hoverfly (Milesia virginieusis) is an insect in the Syrphidae family of hoverflies. It is also known as the Virginia Flower Fly or the Syrphid Fly. It is a syrphid. It is also a pollinator. It is related to the Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax).

The Yellowjacket Hoverfly looks like a hornet, bee, or wasp, but it does not have a stinger on its tail. It is harmless. It is bright, glossy yellow with dark bands on its abdomen. It has six short yellowish legs. It has very large, black compound eyes. It has one pair of translucent (clear, see-through) wings with dark veins. 

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Robber Fly

The Robber Fly (Asilidae sp.) is an insect. It is also known as the Assassin Fly.

The Robber Fly is hairy with bristles. Its body has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Its body is long and tapered, and can be brown, black, or grey. It has a short proboscis (sucking nose) and three simple eyes, called ocelli, between their two compound eyes. Its antennae are short with three segments. It has six spiny legs. It has a sharp ovipositor (egg-laying segment). It has smoky-coloured wings.

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Leaf Insect

The Leaf Insect (Phyllium philippinicum) is related to stick insects.

The Leaf Insect is bright green and looks like a leaf. It is flat and broad, and has brown spots on the edges of its body. Its abdomen has veins like leaves. Its legs have lobes, which can be green or brown. It has long antennae. Females are larger, thicker, and wider than males.

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Blowfly and Animal Decomposition

Animal Decomposition is the process of an animal’s body degrading (breaking down) into organic matter after death.

There are two types of decomposition: abiotic and biotic.

Abiotic decomposition is degradation by chemicalal or physical processes.

Biotic decomposition is degradation by living organisms (insects, such as ants, beetles and flies, or by bacteria, or fungi).

The Blowfly (Chrysomya) is a prime decomposer of animal bodies.

Scavengers (hyena, vultures, wolves, foxes, rats etc.) also have a role in animal decomposition.

There are 5 stages to decomposition of small to large animals: (1) fresh, (2) bloat (accumulation of gases in the body), (3) active decay, (4) advanced decay, and (5) dry remains.

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The Housefly (Musca domestica) is a common worldwide insect in the Muscidae family of true flies.

The Housefly has a head, thorax (chest), and abdomen (stomach).  It is black with four dark, longitudinal lines from its head to its tail. Its body and legs are slightly hairy. It has large, red, compound eyes. Near the compound eyes are three small simple eyes, called ocelli, and a pair of short antennae. It has six legs and one pair of membraneous (transparent) wings. Its mouthpart has a proboscis to suck liquid.

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Golden Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) is also called the Chinese Pheasant. It it a game bird from western China.

The male Golden Pheasant has a golden-yellow crest with red at the tip. Its face, throat, chin, and the sides of its neck are rust-brown. Its wattles are yellow, and its cape is light orange. Its back and rump are golden-yellow. It has patches of blue and dark red. The male’s tail plumage is black spotted with cinnamon. The male also has a scarlet chest.

The female is not as coloured, appearing dark mottled brown. The female’s chest is light-brown and dark-brown. Both males and females have yellow legs and yellow beaks. Both males and females have bright yellow eyes.

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