Ommatius tibialis

This species is one of the perchers that are found at the tips of short stems. This is not a very large fly, is usually seen low to the ground, and may be more common than it appears from the literature.

Identifying characteristics

The antennae of this genus has plumose antennae, and although it is difficult to see in many photographs, it is diagnostic for Wisconsin. The femurs of the species are mostly black but with different, but distinct, patterns of orange/yellow on each leg. The tibias are mainly orange/yellow but all have some distinct black markings. These are just slightly over a half inch long and are often seen perching at the tops of stems.

Similar species

This is our only species of Ommatius, and with the plumose antennae, sharp contrasting colors of the legs, and perching habit they are not likely to be confused with any other Wisconsin species.

Habitat

Open meadows where it often perches on small twigs.

Flight

Late June through August.

Abundance

I have not been able to find any publication that said that this species was reported from Wisconsin previously to this report from Jeff Gruber. It has been reported through most of the eastern U.S. but Wisconsin seems to be at the fringes of its distribution. Jeff stated that he saw several of these flies on that day at the edge of the woods in savanna/grassland habitat.

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Ommatius tibialis
Map key
Ommatius tibialisClick to enlarge

Ommatius tibialis, photo © 2008 jeff gruber

Rocky Run Creek SFA, July 23, 2008.

Ommatius tibialisClick to enlarge

Ommatius tibialis, photo © 2008 jeff gruber

Rocky Run Creek SFA, July 23, 2008.