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Thistle Stem Gall Fly, Urophora cardui. I've been fascinated with these little flies (about 8 mm long) ever since I saw the first one. They have such beautifully coloured eyes, neon colours changing with the light and showing almost all the colours of the rainbow, red, yellow, green and blue.
A couple of days ago I came across this couple sitting quietly on a thistle minding their own business - the production of the next generation. They were very cooperative and stayed in position for a long time, allowing me plenty of time for photos. The really interesting bit came, however, when they decided the mating was over. The male started moving forward to pull away from the female's ovipositor, but he had certain problems (don't know if they stick together like dogs during the mating..). He tried for a while, and suddenly he did manage to break free. Once free, he was almost catapulted forward and landed in the awkward position caught on this photo ;-))
After the exertion the male climbed onto another leaf to take a rest, while the female stayed put for a while "bringing her hair in order" - at least that was what it looked like. Then she, too, climbed onto another leaf and started laying her eggs. Unfortunately, the actual laying of eggs took place near the base of the leaves, so I couldn't get a decent angle on this. The eggs were probably too small to show in the photo, anyway..
Treatment: Crop, contrast +10, brightness +5, saturation +10, USM and resize.

RobBrown, mikhalych, Dingo, Vagabond, mogens-j, nialap, Jeppe ha puntuado esta nota como útil.

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Additional Photos by Bente Feldballe (milloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 608 W: 65 N: 329] (1829)
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