|Image from University of California Riverside|
The Delhi Sands Flower-Loving Fly (Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis) is endemic to the fine sand (also known as Delhi sand) dunes of southern California. The second part of its name comes from the fact that the adults feed on nectar from flowers in a manner reminiscent of hummingbirds, or, probably more accurately, hawk moths.
Parts of the lifestyle of this insect are still unknown. They are typically only seen as adults. There is a single mating season each year, from August to September, where the female will lay about 50 eggs into the sand. At that point, who knows? The larvae stay underground for probably two years, and may be predatory. I would be willing to guess that those suppositions come from studies of other Flower-Loving Flies (family Apioceridae).
The Delhi Sands area covers about 40 square miles, and it is thought that the Flower-Loving Fly occupied most of it. Now, with habitat degradation and loss, it now lives in 2.5 percent of that entire area. The conservation efforts for this animal, begun in 1993, has stirred tempers, and even gotten a (very brief) mention on NPR. To protect the habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service set aside areas for the fly to thrive. The problem: some of that land is private property. Needless to say, landowners and developers got angry, which, of course, got conservationists angry. To this day, no one has stopped shouting.