This is the amusing story about the Kiss Fly, a story with lots of question marks. The picture on the left hand-side shows the female Kiss Fly (Platystoma seminationis). The about 7 mm little fly lives in the area of hedges and the outskirts of the forest, in vegetation that is knee-high or flatter. In some years, you can see it very often there, in others rather rarely.
The unimpressive fly doesn`t really have an English name, but only a Latin indication (Platystoma seminationis). It is a member of the genus Platystomatidae. The German name "Kiss Fly" is my idea, because of its very flashy behaviour during its courtship ritual. In last years, I have witnessed this ritual repeatedly, which I will show you now in this story.

The male fly flies around between grasses and low leaves of shrubs searching for a female fly. When it has discovered one, it circles the female in a sideways position, the latter hereupon reacting with the same movement.

The circuits of the two flies become more and more narrower until they have approximated themselves very closely and the female - should it accept the male’s advances - sticks its abdomen towards the male.

Now the male slowly and carefully gets on top of the female from behind being always anxious not to be too fierce. Until this point everythings seems to be quite normal, but now the male puts its forelegs over the female’s head, or more precisely, its huge compound eyes, and pulls up its partner’s head.

At the same time, the female stretches its trunk upwards where it meets the male’s trunk which is also extended - as a result, a kiss of about 5 to 15 seconds takes place.

According to my enquiries, the impressive phenomenon of a “snogging” fly pair has never been watched, let alone photographed, before.

After that, the copula takes place.
It is unknown why the flies kiss each other. It could be possible that they exchange any fluids in order to intensify their social bond, for example. However, such behaviours have not yet been confirmed as far as this animal species is concerned.