Hammerhead Fly

7mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

I spotted this little fly on the underside of a large leaf. I was really thrilled to find something so unusual. I probably spent about a half hour chasing it around from one perch to another. Luckily, it always flew just a short distance.

Dorsal view

I had heard of antler flies before, and I figured this was a good candidate to be one. Initial internet searches using that phrase didn’t turn up anything though. On a whim I tried searching for “hammerhead fly” since that seemed like an obvious common name for this fly. That turned out to be a good guess, and I found lots of similar looking images of Richardia telescopica in the family Richardiidae. I’ve been unable to eliminate the possibility of similar looking species. If not for that uncertainty, I’d have made this into an identification challenge.


This “species of the day” page has some excellent illustrations and a bit of info on Richardia telescopica. The length mentioned there (15mm) seems off though. The same illustration appears in one of my references and it includes a scale which is consistent with the size I measured for this specimen.

Frontal view

Here’s a nice YouTube video of a similar species, Plagiocephalus latifrons.


This entry was posted in Featured Photos. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Hammerhead Fly

  1. I can’t believe you sat on this one for as long as you did. Marvelous!

    • Troy Bartlett says:

      I’m trying to post things roughly in the order that I found them. When I got to these photos, there were so many to sort through that I skipped it and came back later. Then I was waiting on a response to try and verify the id, which I eventually gave up on.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.