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The Dude with the White Gloves

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It will always be known in our family as “the little dude with the white gloves”.  However, that description is unlikely to satisfy the entomologists among us.

This little critter was so named by our granddaughter when she was all of five years old and, at the time, seemed very fitting as well as amusing.

A wasp needing a name. The dude with the white gloves (Photo: David Anderson)

It has the appearance of a wasp with a distinct “waist” and short wings and a prominent stinger on the rear of its abdomen.  However, its behaviour makes it quite unlike any wasp I know.  It has white ends (gloves) on its two front legs. Its front legs bend back while its “white “feet” bend forward, giving it flexibility allowing it to very effectively “clean” its wings … if that’s what it does?

Our little critter spends a lot of time walking on its four back legs while waving its two front legs with its prominent white “gloves”.  Its curious behaviour reminds me of the robot in the TV program Lost in Space which waves its “arms” about saying “Danger. Danger, Will Robinson” … if you can remember that?

Perhaps there is an entomologist who can identify it. In any case, I will probably still be calling it “the little dude with the white gloves”.

Article submitted by David Anderson, Fraser Island Association

UPDATE

Well, thanks to Peter Shooter from FIDO it now has a different name, the black stilt-legged fly (Mimegralla australica). 

The black stilt-legged fly

Flies in this family have very long legs, although the front pair is noticeably shorter. Their body is elongated with patterned wings, a shape that mimics wasps or ants. Mimicry is a strategy that works for the stilt-legged flies, as their behaviour also mimics that of wasps or ants. They wave their forelegs in front of head when resting on plants.  The larvae are found in rotting wood or other vegetable material.

 Update provided by Peter Shooter, FIDO


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