Currently viewing the category: "Flies"
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Subject: Bee? Fly? Friend or Foe?
Location: TN
February 27, 2015 8:47 am
I’m hoping someone can help me identify this bug. I’ve found 3 of them thus far. They appear to have been created in my large pot of amaryllis that I drag indoors and outdoors each year. Last fall, I quit watering the large pot and stored it in cool, darkish conditions (unheated garage) for about 4 months. After moving it to a warm sunny location – these gentle creatures are making their appearance. Google hasnt helped. Thanks for any information you can share!
Signature: Green thumb – newbie apridarist

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Dear Green thumb-newbie apridarist,
This is a Narcissus Bulb Fly,
Merodon equestris, which we identified on BugGuide, and though they are generally associated with daffodil and narcissus bulbs,  according to the North Carolina State University Insect and Related Pests of Flowers and Foliage Plants site:  “Distribution -The narcissus bulb fly occurs wherever narcissus are grown throughout the United States. This pest was introduced from Europe in about 1869.  Host Plants -The narcissus bulb fly has been reported to infest amaryllis, daffodil, Galtonia, Flanthus, hyacinth, Iris, lilies, Leucofum, Narcissus, Scilla, tulips, and Vallota.  Damage -The center of the bulb is hollowed out and the flower bud is destroyed. Many infested bulbs rot away although some survive to send up a few scrawny grasslike blades the following year.”

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

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Subject: Tiny Bee With A Big Head
Location: Silver Lake (Los Angeles)
February 23, 2015 9:54 pm
Hi Daniel,
This morning, I was shooting a photo of wild radish on the Red Car Property in Silver Lake, above the historic viaduct footings. While editing, I noticed I captured one frame of this tiny bee with a very strangely shaped, almost mod head. Sorry I couldn’t get a better shot – it was with my phone. I’ve often caught the incidental bug in close-ups, but this is a new one for me.
http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/
Signature: Diane E

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Hi Diane,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  Many members of the family mimic bees or wasps as it is beneficial for harmless insects to be mistaken for stinging insects.  Is there any progress on the preservation attempts of the Red Car Property?

Cool.  Thought it was weird.
TPL still has exclusive option on the property.  It’s wonderful to walk right now.

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Subject: tropical fly
Location: Highlands, Papua New Guinea
January 31, 2015 12:16 am
Found this in our village where we work as missionaries. Never seen anything like it and am wondering what kind it is. (See attached pic)
Signature: David Ogg

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

Dear David,
This is a beautiful and colorful Fly, and we are relatively certain it is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae.  Tachinid Flies are parasitoids.  The female lays an egg on a very host specific prey, and the larval Tachinid Fly feeds on the internal organs eventually killing the host, at which time it will form a puparium and eventually emerge as an adult Tachinid Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”  We are attempting to provide you with a species identification for this distinctive, probable Tachinid Fly.  The Tachinid Collection pictured on Tachinidae Resources includes
Rutilia (Donovanius) regalis, which looks similar to your individual, but we are not even certain of that species’ range.

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Subject: Unknown winged insect
Location: SE Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 19, 2015 7:50 am
I was refilling my bird feeders when this insect dropped off the remains of a seed block onto my trash container. The critter measured about .75 inch from front feet to tail.
From the looks of those antennae my guess is that he navigates by scent or vibration rather than vision.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Russ Norwood

Male Midge

Male Midge

Dear Russ,
This is a male (yes those antennae enable him to locate a female) member of the order Diptera that includes Flies and related insects with two wings.  We suspect this is a male Midge or male Gnat and it looks quite similar to this image of
 Apsectrotanypus johnsoni that we located on BugGuide, however, BugGuide indicates a size of 4mm, which is considerably smaller than the 3/4 inch you have indicated.  We will try to determine the species identity of your large male Midge.  Of the Lake Midge from further North, BugGuide indicates:  “Wing length typically 5.9 mm, occasionally as long as 7.5 mm. Male body length typically 10, occasionally as long as 13 mm. This is the largest member of the family.”

Thanks for the rapid reply as well as for your very interesting response.  My estimate of size was rough, so is probably best taken with a grain of salt.  I included everything from the tip of the (abdomen?) to the tips of the two extended front legs.
Thanks to your kind response I looked up the species elsewhere.  This reference on wikipedia mentions that some may feed on sugars.  For what it’s worth, the seeds in the block remnant on which I found him were glued together with sugars.
I’ve made a donation Daniel.  Thanks again.
Russ Norwood

Thanks for your kind donation Russ.  We are still awaiting a response from Eric Eaton to see if he recognizes you Midge.

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:

It is indeed a male midge, family Chironomidae, and some can get pretty large.  There is somebody that has written a book about midges of the southeast, … John Epler.  Here’s his web page link:
http://home.comcast.net/~johnepler3/index.html
Eric

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Subject: a bee I can’t identify
Location: San Diego, CA
January 5, 2015 4:34 pm
while I was at work on a job site here in Chula Vista, CA (San Diego county) my Co worker pulled up in his work van and I noticed what looked like a bee in the door crack. I really took notice when I was trying to see what kind of bee it was and it’s eyes were a metallic gold with black stripes. I got the best picture of it I could have. the pictures doesn’t capture the metallic of they eyes but you can see how they are striped. I Googled like crazy looking for this insect and started to think I found a new bee. please help me identify this as I have never seen anything like it before. thanks
Signature: Miguel

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Hi Miguel,
This is not a Bee.  It is a Fly in the family Syrphidae, and the members of the family are called Hover Flies or Flower Flies.  Many Hover Flies mimic bees and wasps as a means of protection.  Masquerading as a stinging insect is beneficial for the harmless fly.  We believe your Hover Fly is
Eristalinus taeniops, a species that is “A widespread Old World species introduced to California” according to BugGuide.

Thank you so much for clarifying this I kinda had a feeling it might have been a fly because when I poke it with a stick it really didn’t move or seem aggressive.

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Subject: Unknown bug
Location: St Paul inside kitchen
December 31, 2014 1:20 pm
Dead of winter in St Paulwhen this creature appears on the kitchen floor barely able to fly to the wall but he does! Body an inch long and
Beautiful variegated wings…what is it?
Signature: Frankie

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Frankie,
This harmless insect is a Crane Fly in the infraorder Tipulomorpha.  We will attempt a species identification for you and we are quite curious about its appearance in late December.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination