I was handing out the cigars last Monday!
Now, you might well think me more than a little mad to be excited about the birth of a fly but this was the first time I had tried rearing one … and it was actually successful, which bodes well for the fact that I’m intending to take part in a fly-rearing investigation this summer (more on that closer to the time).
The fly is Phytomyza ranunculi, a creature whose larvae often make their home in the leaves of Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna). I blogged about this leafminer, its larvae and the pupa here, and it is that pupa which finally hatched earlier this week. I had been told it would take about 3 weeks to hatch but it was, in fact, longer than that – it was 6 February when I found the pupa and 12 March when it hatched, so 34 days in total.
Now, here I must admit to a rookie error. As it was well over the 3 weeks, I had almost given up on its hatching so, on Monday night, when I had a sudden notion to open the container, I didn’t look inside first. The fly popped straight out, perched on the edge for a very brief time – and I managed to get just one photo, and then it flew off. I’ve searched for it in my flat, and it did a quick fly by when I was washing the dishes yesterday, but I haven’t been able to find it, neither to take more photos nor to let it outside.