Caught this lil fella in the lower hoop house yesterday, and figured this is a good opportunity to talk about insects like I promised (finally). This insect is colloquially known as a “mosquito hawk”–partly because it looks like a giant mosquito, and partly because most people believe that it eats mosquitos. In fact, this thing is kinda related to mosquitoes: it’s in the same order (which is a method of classification) with mosquitoes and true flies (you can tell because it only has one set of wings. The two sticks-with-balls-on-them that’re hanging out where the second set of wings would be are called halteres and are used for balance)
They don’t bite humans, and they don’t usually eat mosquitoes– they’re actually a common agricultural pest in Europe, although not so much here. Usually they eat decaying matter, algae, plant roots, etc. in its larval stage. As an adult (pictured here) it doesn’t eat much of anything, really. Just kinda flies around till it finds a mate, mates, and then dies.