Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses Page: 32
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32 TEXAS NATURE OBSERVATIONS AND REMINISCENCES.
secondly they have about the same
netwings and eyes-the latter of
a greenish color and of the same
prismatic and cubic arrangement
of the lens segments; and third,
the mouth parts have a similar
anatomical arrangement as the
vituperous horse-fly species. The
most prominent characteristic of
this fly, however, is the peculiar
humpback-like thorax, which pro-
trudes considerably over the balance
of its body. In flying, these flies
make a humming noise with their
wings, and they are exceedingly
swift in their flight, flying however
only a short distance, and always
with a loud buzzing noise, which
is suddenly cut short when they
alight on the ground or brush.
During a hunting trip in the
lovely Leona Valley and also at
the Olmos, north of the romantic
head of the river, some years ago,
the writer first encountered these
insects; and one in particular
attracted my attention, as it carried
a large black wasp in its claws dur-
ing its flight. I followed it a
short distance, when it lit on a
sunflower bush, and on closer
VIcoUs PRAIRIE FLY TVITH ITS VICTIM,
A BLACK WASIP.
i ormal Size from Nature)
inspection it was seen that it had
perforated the wasp's abdomen
with its long proboscic implements.
Being supplied with some chloro-
form, a few drops gradually made
the insect loosen its hold and drop
to the ground, still having the
wasp in its clutches; and, after
bringing this specimen home, I
prepared a photo view of it,
showing also the captured wasp
beneath it, though the feet were
somewhat relaxed and the mouth
daggers of the fly also retracted-
placed in normal condition.
As to the harm some of the
Texas insects and also reptiles
are liable to do, while the great
majority of insects and reptiles
in Texas are of a harmless nature,
some genera are supplied with
THE TONGUE AND DAGGERS CF TE TEXAS
special weapons of defence,as
well as with venom apparati, com-
municating with separate inocu-
lating (stinging) implements, which
they use with more or less deadly
effect during combats among them-
selves or as a means of self-
defense or of food supply, by
inoculating and killing their victims
and, whilst the majority of the
dangerous types of insects and
reptiles are liable to inflict very
painful, and, in rare instances,
deadly wounds upon human beings,
they rarely attack a person unless
they are molested, either purposely
After the above humpback-fly
had been captured and photo-
graphed with its victim in its
clutches, I prepared a photomicro-
graph of this fly's suction and
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Menger, R. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, book, 1913; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/36/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.