The Delhi Sands flower-loving fly (Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis) is named for the very specific habitat it requires - Delhi series sands occurring only on the Delhi Sands formation in southwestern California, an area of ancient inland dunes. This sand type currently exists only in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in southern California.
At 2.5 cm long, the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly is one of the largest flies in the world. It is orange-brown and black with dark brown oval spots.
Currently 12 populations exist and this species is the only fly on the Endangered Species List. It was federally listed in 1993. Ninety-seven per cent of this species' habitat has been destroyed. Development, agricultural conversion, sand mining, invasion by exotic species, dumping of cow manure and trash, and off-road vehicles continue to threaten the species.
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