Mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies aka Chrysopilus thoracicus. This fly is observed in early to mid-spring perched quietly on low vegetation in deciduous woodlands.
This species of fly is one of around 120,000 members worldwide of the order Diptera. Snipe flies tend to be large flies with long legs relative to their body size, rounded heads, and tapering abdomens. C. thoracicus is marked by smoky wings with dark veins on a translucent membrane.
Its most distinctive feature is the patch of brilliant gold hair positioned on the upper thorax.
As with most insects, the females of this species are much more robust than the males. Both sexes commonly reach 10-12 mm in length.
Golden-backed snipe flies can be found throughout eastern North America.
They appear in the late spring and early summer, and have been observed mating in late May and early June, although timing likely varies.
Adult snipe flies are typically predatory on other insects, although some members of the family do feed on human or other mammal blood. It is thought that C. thoracicus is in the predatory class, although they have been observed to eat little.