Every year, I see green bottle flies hung over the ends of leaves or tall stems, and I’m wondering why? I’ve seen similar from ants with the ophiocordyceps, but the flies don’t seem to have a “fungus stalk.” They just seem to latch on and die. This seemed more prevalent last year, but I’ve seen some this year as well.
Most of the ones I’ve seen like this are infected with a different fungus than the various Ophiocordyceps / Cordyceps flavor. This type doesn’t make a stalk, but rather gets the fly to perch on an exposed spot and then when it converts to spores they’ll have a good launching pad. Similar to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entomophthora_muscae, I don’t know how much diversity there is in this syndrome. I’d imagine that sometimes the fungal infection might fail (and thus not make clear hyphae) even though the fly dies.
I can’t quite tell from this photo, but it looks like the wings might be pushed forward. That’s also typical of this group of entomopathogens, enabling the fungus to disperse spores from the abdomen. The mechanism isn’t quite understood, though, because it happens after death.
In the photo, I believe the wings are pushed forward, though there is a slight possibility that it could’ve been due to external forces (such as rain and wind). It’s been raining a bit for the past couple of days. Either way, thank you for the additional information!
difficult to make out and given the impact of fungi or whatever it is, some characters are unreliable - the head looks either small or no longer there, but taking it at face value and ignoring impacts of decay, it looks more like Acroceridae or similar to me… (it appears to have an unusually small thorax relative to the abdomen)