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family Lonchaeidae, genus and species unknown
Flies in this family are short-bodied, and wings have no spots. Bodies are typically blue or black, and often metallic. This is a small fly - only about 4mm as an adult.
Larvae can be found behind bark of trees and in stumps. Some feed on decaying vegetables. The larvae of most Lance Fly species are "phytophagous" meaning they feed on already damaged tissue. Adults often live in holes left behind by beetles that bore in wood. The above adult fly was photographed nibbling at the edge of a damp tree stump. These flies live mostly in forests and grassy areas.
I could not find a genera or species ID for this fly, and at Bug Guide, most are listed without taxonomy to species level. I've left it at family level, and I'm OK with that, but if anyone has more information about Lance Flies in California please do comment.
Spotted on Nov 2, 2014
Submitted on Nov 2, 2014