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Sicus ferrugineus
Sicus ferrugineus

Sicus ferrugineus
Sicus ferrugineus is a species in the order two-winged flies (Diptera), the suborder brachyceran flies (Brachycera), the infraorder Muscomorpha (section: Schizophora; subsection: Acalyptrata), the superfamily Conopoidea, the family thick-headed flies (Conopidae), the subfamily Myopinae, the tribe Sicini, and the genus Sicus. Scientific synonyms for this species are: Conops cessans, Conops ferrugineus and Sicus cessans. Sicus ferrugineus are widespread in the Palaearctic zone of Europe, Africa and Asia. In Central Europe it is the most common species of the Conopidae family.
Sicus ferrugineus - Top view
Sicus ferrugineus - Top view
Adult Sicus ferrugineus reach body lengths of 8 - 14 mm. The body size depends on the size of the host in which the larvae develop. The essentially rust-red body colour is sometimes black-brown, yellow, brown or reddish- brown.
Conopidae - Sicus ferrugineus
Conopidae - Sicus ferrugineus
The most striking feature of this fly is the large, bloated-looking head. At the front is a translucent, dark brown bubble. The face of the Sicus ferrugineus is yellow. The lower part of the face is shiny, while the crown and forehead are dull coloured. The large compound eyes are chestnut-brown. The antennae are short and reddish brown and the 2nd segment is often as long as the 3rd. The proboscis consists of two sections and is dark brown to black-brown in colour. The cheeks in the side view appear substantially narrower than the compound eyes. A shiny, black patch is visible on the chest (thorax) - between the hips of the front and middle legs couples The abdomen, which is usually folded forward when in resting position, has a circular cross section, and is hook-shaped especially in the males. The 7th segment of the abdomen is wedge-shaped and long. The end segments often appear much darker. While the base of the wings is a reddish-yellow colour, the wings themselves are transparent. The legs are dark.
Sicus ferrugineus - Front view
Sicus ferrugineus - Front view
Sicus ferrugineus are diurnal and can be found from May to September in a variety of habitats inhabited by bumblebees. The adults are avid flower visitors, feeding on nectar, pollen and honeydew, especially from thistles, blackberries or the parsley family.
Thick-headed fly - Sicus ferrugineus
Thick-headed fly - Sicus ferrugineus
After mating, the fertilized females lay their eggs singly on bumblebees, ambushing the workers in flight. They cling to the host animal and lay their egg between the abdominal segments. The larvae hatch quickly and then eat their way into the abdomen of the host and hollow it out gradually. Sicus ferrugineus larvae pupate and overwinter in the hosts.
Sicus ferrugineus on a flower
Sicus ferrugineus on a flower
Sicus ferrugineus - Rear view
Sicus ferrugineus - Rear view

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Sicus ferrugineus
2. Sicus ferrugineus - Top view
3. Conopidae - Sicus ferrugineus
4. Sicus ferrugineus - Front view
5. Thick-headed fly - Sicus ferrugineus
6. Sicus ferrugineus on a flower
7. Sicus ferrugineus - Rear view
Sources, links and more informations
Sicus ferrugineus in Wikipedia
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