All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<b>Mono Lake Alkali Fly</b><br><i>Ephydra hians</i></br>
Mono Lake Alkali Fly
Ephydra hians
These flies are very strange! They live in the alkaline water of Mono Lake as larvae and pupae. They eat the algae in the water and lay their eggs on the rocks. The native Kutzadika'a people (the name means "fly-eaters') ate the pupae of these flies because they are high in protein and fat. Can you imagine eating fly pupa stew!? The adult flies swarm along the surface of the water and on the edge of the shore. If you wave your hand above them, they will fly a few inches above the surface and then quickly land. These insects are an important food source for numerous birds. California gulls are especially fond of them!

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