108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Piophilidae: Piophilinae: Prochyliza: Prochyliza xanthostoma (Walker, 1849)

This North American fly occurs in forests, aggregating around moose carcasses as they are carrion feeders. Females will wait on vegetation surrounding a carcass and watch males combat on the carcass. The flies are sexually dimorphic and males have larger antennae, head capsules, and foretarsi for competing in combat. Continue reading “108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above”

17/150: Whooping cranes – till death do them part!

Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Gruiformes: Gruidae: Grus: Grus americana (Linnaeus, 1758)

Whooping cranes (Grus americana) come by their name honestly; they were given the moniker thanks to their loud trumpet-like calls which can be heard from several kilometers away! They use these calls for a variety of reasons and one of the most important is to attract the opposite sex in courtship displays. Continue reading “17/150: Whooping cranes – till death do them part!”