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Empis livida

Empis livida
Photo Information
Copyright: Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-27
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 100 Macro & Kenko tube
Exposure: f/16, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dipterans (except Hover flies) of Europe-1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-11 1:30
Viewed: 3414
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Death dance in the backyard:

I present to you the 12 mm long Bright dance fly (Diptera; Empididae; Empis livida; Helle Tanzfliege). Dance flies have a famous ritual for copulation: The male offers the female a present in form of a captured fly in order to gain her favors. This may also keep the female from stabbing the male accidentally with the enormous stiletto they have as mouthparts! The male characteristically hangs on a piece of vegetation with the forelegs and keeps the female and the prey with the other legs.

ID: difficult because there are many Empidid species, around 380 species of the genus Empis in Europe. I found no good key. There are four better known species in Central Europe, E. tessellata; E. vitripennis; E. livida; E. opaca. I had to choose from them.

aes_thor, CatherineD, nglen, marhowie, Heaven, anel, NinaM, extramundi, boreocypriensis, vral, iris, ramthakur, SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Heaven: Längere Pausenmeyerd 1 07-13 06:00
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Dietrich,

nice shot, great details, interesting moment You've captured.
nice one.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-07-11 6:48]

Hi Dietrich,
I'll be back for critique.
Thanks for posting.

Great shot!! Excellent sharpness and details. The bg is also well blurred out. You have captured a very nice posture of the insects.

Bravo pour la bonne couverture photographique de cet événement étonnant. On observe ici des appétits de nature différente. :)
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-07-11 10:01]

Hello Dietrich!

Very intersting macro with Todtentanz. Perfect quality, but first of all amazing scene. Looking at this picture everyone should think about life and death, pleasure and pain and how similiar we are to something so small like robberfly.

Hello Dietrich,
Amazing job. This is an excellent capture with full details and good DOF. Excellent note too, which is the result of your observation and your reserch. Congratulations,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-11 10:38]

Hi Dietrich. I have a very much the same but not half as good as this one. Your notes are interestin telling us about whats going on. You have good detail and sharp focusing with rich colours. Well done TFS.

Have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-07-11 13:06]

Great shot, Dietrich!
Very good DOF that has kept both flies in perfect focus.
Good lighting and colours.
Excellent composition.

Well done,

Hi Dietrich,
This is another world! What a stunning capture and interesting behavior you describe...The image is crystal clear with perfect POV, details, exposure and composition. I wish I have a good lens to do some macro like this... This is very well done, congratulations!

  • Great 
  • hekcik Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 291 W: 15 N: 305] (1827)
  • [2008-07-11 13:38]

Hi Dietrich,

Very good sharpness and POV.
Well done!


Hallo Dieter!

Bitte, lege zwischen den einzelnen Vröffentlichungen doch längere Pausen ein! Ich kann der Steigerung kaum folgen (werde wohl alt...)!


Ich meine es nicht wörtlich, aber doch im Ernst. Du zeigst uns unglaublich packende und schöne Bilder aus der Insektenwelt. Dieses hier ist perfekt inszeniert, dramatisch und instruktiv, vor allem auch zusammen mit dem sehr interessanten Begleittext.



  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-07-13 4:39]

Lieber Dieter,
Eine Szene wie aus einem Film! Ein interessantes Bild mit lehrreichem Begleittext und bestens fotografiert. Mit Deinem Ringflash "tu fais des miracles"!
Chapeau Dieter.
Herziche Grüsse

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-07-13 7:22]

Hello Dietrich, I am amazed at such a clear, sharp and well exposed picture showing us these flies. It seems the male keeps the female busy while doing his things ;-) I would too! The most striking thing in this picture is the male holding itself and the female and the catch with its antennas! Incredible and very interesting post, thank you!


It is a very beautiful capture and really descriptive document, I even thought about the male-female-gift ritual before reading your note, excellent.
Light is powerful but controlled, details and composition very nice, but eh pose really makes it :)
Thanks very much with your help with the Boyeria Irene, it is very appreciated.
Best regards, Felipe.

Hi Dietrich, what a great deocument on these Dance flies. Perfectly observed and captured. Great detailed and well composed shot too. Simply perfect in all around my friend!
TFS this.
Kind regards,


  • Great 
  • vral Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 1 N: 218] (1049)
  • [2008-07-14 3:02]

Hi Dietrich,

Perfect macro of these Dance flies, clear and action packed. Your narration is educative and inspiring. I'm eagerly waiting for such an awesome happenings to capture.

thanks a lot for sharing.


Hi Dietrich,
Great stuff..Talk about just hangin' out, this guy does pull-ups at the same time he's doing the death dance..
Perhaps a bit of a misnomer, he seems to be having too much fun :)
Excellent flashwork, details, color, framing, POV, and DOF.
Nice smooth BG as well.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-07-14 21:20]

Hi Dietrich,
An amazing capture and a note to go with it.I wish more TNers noticed this excellent capture..:)

Wonderful shot of the couple mating and also the female being engaged with a prey to handle.Fine use of flash light highlighting every little detail on the pair and to a great extent of the prey.

Good sharpness, clarity , colours and contrasts.Excellent PoV allowing a fine DoF.The placid BG allows to maintain the focus of the viewer completely on the subjects.

Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-15 7:31]

Hello Dietrich! Very impressive shot by it's sharpness and subject. Great composition and a perfect background, a beauty!


Hello Dietrich,
Thanks for your kind critique on my recent image of two Painted Grasshoppers. I am obliged.
Your picture of these Dance Flies is a classic image becaue it records a delicate moment in the course of their ritualistic mating.
With tripod anf flash, you have captured a marvellous image with immaculate details and lovely colours.
Your note is very educative and helps immensely in appreciating this image.
Thanks and regards,

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-16 1:20]

Hi Dietrich,
a revealing moment you have caught in the small world that goes on unnoticed around us. Excellent sharp detail and perfect DOF, very well done indeed a great shot!

Hola Dietrich,
Impresionante y oportuna captura, magnífica nitidez con que se muestran los detalles, excelente fondo e iluminación. Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-07-17 11:19]

Hi Dietrich,
What's going on there? :o) I must say that you have captured a very original and an interesting scene. It's crisp sharp, very well focused and composed. TFS
All the best,

Hi Dietrich,
Fantastic picture, focus spot on great DOF and perfect timing,TFS

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2009-04-20 23:21]

very intresting shot!
acrobatic pose!
nice focus and details on subject!


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