January 17th – Snail Parasitic Blowfly

Snail Parasite Blowfly (Amenia imperialis)

With a handful of things to do, I went outside and bumped into this interesting looking Amenia imperialis, or Snail Parasitic Blowfly.

Jobs 0, Run inside and get the camera and macro lens 1.

Just as looks can be deceiving, the name here is doing the dirty work. We’ve been trained to normally associate a ‘blowfly’ as something that hangs around unpleasant stuff, and if you got in the way it would give you a bite to remember it by. And sure, the Amenia imperialis starts its own life by sucking that out of the snail it was born on.

But that’s all there is to scrunch up your nose about this insect. This strikingly coloured insect feeds on nectar, and like many winged creatures plays a vital role in pollinating plants in the garden.

The metallic blue/green thorax, the polka-dots, and the brightly coloured head makes this one of the most curious insects I’ve come across, and the first time I’ve seen one.

And a few less snails around my garden wouldn’t go astray either.


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