|Fly attached to skylight frame.|
|Fly wing - the red arrow points to the bend in the discal vein.|
|Side view of the abdomen - note the white spores stuck to hairs near the rear.|
|The underside of the abdomen, again showing the fungal mass and white spores.|
|Close-up showing individual spores attached to hairs.|
|Microscope 'squash' preparation of the fungal mass (magnification x400)|
- Green: these are the asexual spores (conidia, singular = conidium) covered in a gelatinous coating that allows them to stick to flies once released, and are then seen as white powder attached to hairs and bristles.
- Red: these small round structures are the spores themselves without the gelatinous coating.
- Blue: this is a coated spore attached to one of the elongate conidiophores, stalked structures which produce spores by mitosis.
So, a jolly start to 2012 with a gut-eating parasitic fungus - I will undoubtedly return with some small shiny beetles soon, but until then, Happy New Year :)
d'Assis Fonseca, E.C.M. (1968). Muscidae. Royal Entomological Society Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 10(4b): 1-119.