This is the first of the Pacific Grove/Big Sur/Santa Cruz/Muir Woods batch - a Snipe Fly, family Rhagionidae. These flies are medium-sized and have large legs with three-padded tarsi, as opposed to most flies which have two-padded tarsi and a middle claw. Most snipe flies are brownish, gray, or black with spots of white, yellow, or green. They may have bare bodies or short hairs. They are common in woods, especially moist places (such as Muir Woods), and the larvae feed on small insects. A few snipe flies are biting pests.
Diptera; Orthorrhapha; Tabanomorpha; Rhagionidae; Rhagio