Shore Flies

Common Name: Brine Fly

Order Name: Diptera

Family Name: Ephydridae

These brine flies are found in the millions along the shores of Mono Lake in Northern California. Native American tribes used to gather the fly puparia as food. Their larvae feed on the algae that grows in the warm shallows of this salty lake. Adults feed on other insects who land on the water but are generally preoccupied with the reproductive tasks at hand. Their abundance along less salty bodies of water makes them an important food source for fish. Clouds of these small black flies take to the air as you wander into their seemingly inhospitable niche. I found tiger beetles busy catching these shore flies.