Currently viewing the category: "Flies"
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Subject: Flying insect identification
Location: Pacific Northwest, Southwest Washington state
April 11, 2015 11:21 am
I live in a wooded area of southwest Washington state and saw this insect on the door of our shed. I tried to look up something on it, but can’t seem to find anything. You you please help?
Thank you
Signature: Tia Miller

Crane Fly

Tiger Crane Fly

Dear Tia,
This distinctive insect is a Tiger Crane Fly,
Phoroctenia vittata angustipennis.  As it does not sting nor bite, it is a harmless insect.

Crane Fly

Tiger Crane Fly

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Subject: What kind of insect is this?
Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida
April 11, 2015 7:42 am
Hello Bugman,
I have a butterfly garden in Florida and have found many strange insects but cannot figure out what this little guy is.
Any information is much appreciated!
Signature: Michele M.

Male Horse Fly:  Chlorotabanus crepuscularis

Male Horse Fly: Chlorotabanus crepuscularis

Dear Michele,
This is really a gorgeous image of a male Horse Fly. We verified its identity as
Chlorotabanus crepuscularis on BugGuide where it states: “Females feed on mammalian blood.  …  As with all the blood-feeding tabanids, the females are responsive to Carbon Dioxide. I caught over 500 females in one night with a trap baited with dry ice in coastal South Carolina. Will also come to lights at night.  Regarded as a pest species in Florida.”  The closeness of the eyes indicates that this is a non-biting male Horse Fly.  Female Horse Flies have a space between the eyes.

Wow!  A horse fly!
I never would have guessed!
I love insects and never use pesticides.  I just love seeing their beauty up close.
Thanks so much for your speedy answer and expertise,
Michele Mistretta

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Subject: What is this?
Location: England, uk
April 10, 2015 5:52 am
Just wondering what this is and if it’s harmless? Thank you
Signature: Kelly

Flightless Fly

What’s This Australian Soldier Fly doing in England???

Dear Kelly,
For now, we are calling this by the oxymoronic name of flightless Fly.  We are certain it is in the order Diptera, but beyond that, we cannot say at this time.  It does not appear to be the flightless Crane Fly Epidapus venaticus that we found pictured on the Earth Life Web Fly Page as the antennae are quite different from the linked drawing.
  We are going to seek some other opinions.

Chen Young provides some information
Hi Daniel,
Your doubt has its merit, this is not a crane fly and I don’t know off hand who she is.  I will need to ask my colleague about this one.  Could you provide me with the information as where this lady is from?  Please double check with your source, my friend does not believe that this fly has an European origin.

Hi Daniel,
My colleague Dr. Martin Hauser from California Department of Food and Agriculture has identified your wingless fly as a primitive soldier fly Boreoides subulatus  (family  Stratiomyidae) from Australia, and they are found only in Australia.  Perhaps your source did not understand the importance of locality of the bugs when come to identification.
I have done a little more checking around and noticed that you had a webpage about this wingless fly.  They might look slight different but I think it is caused by the camera angle and lighting effect.

Thanks so much for the response Chen.  We will try to get some verification from Kelly regarding the location of the sighting, and also if anyone in the area recently returned from Australia.

Eric Eaton Concurs
I looked this up online myself and came to the same conclusion as Martin Hauser, but did not reply because of the locality being the UK rather than Australia.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

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Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: South Bend, IN
April 9, 2015 5:35 am
Dear Bugman,
I was out for a hike yesterday afternoon in South Bend, IN and I saw lots of these bugs flying around close to the ground. I would like to know what it is so I can learn more about it.
Signature: Bug Lover

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Bug Lover,
This is a Greater Bee Fly, a harmless pollinating insect.

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Subject: Which fly?
Location: Pune, India
March 27, 2015 9:39 pm
I came across this fly on the bark of a Mahogany tree.
It’s got a single pair of wings and measures about 2cms or so.
Any clues much appreciated.
Thanks & Regards,
Signature: Rahul

Unknown Fly from India

Unknown Fly from India

Dear Rahul,
We do not recognize your colorful Fly, but we will post the image in the hope that one of our readers will be able to assist in the identification.

Thanks for trying Daniel!

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Subject:  Wingless Crane Fly?
Location:  Wrightwood, California
March 17, 2015
Found this guy in Wrightwood, California about a week ago.   It moved like a spider but when I picked it up I realized it was not!   It looked line a crane fly to me and a search for “wingless crane fly” brought me to Whatsthatbug..  Most of the images I have seen here and elsewhere  are of much heavier bodied examples with much thicker legs.  I have not found one that looks like this anywhere else but I am fairly sure it is a crane fly.    I’m hoping you’ll find this one as interesting as my son and I did.

I really hope you guys see this.  With all the web resources out there (often your website) I am still stumped!  I have not been able to find an image of anything quite like this.  I am certain it’s a crane fly but all the wingless crane flies I can find online are very grizzly looking.  This one is much different.
Sorry for the filthy hands, we were repairing a sprinkler system.

Wingless Insect

Wingless Crane Fly

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for resending this interesting request.  We went back through our unanswered mail and we could not locate your original submission, which is very curious.  Zooming in on your excellent image, we do not believe the antennae and mouthparts are those of a Crane Fly.  It reminds us more of a member of the order Mecoptera, the Scorpionflies.  We are going to seek some additional opinions, including Eric Eaton and Crane Fly expert Chen Young.

Wingless Insect

Wingless Crane Fly

Dr. Chen Young identifies Crane Fly
Hi Daniel,
Yes, it is a crane fly and it is a male crane fly, thus it is probably not in the family Tipulidae, instead it is in the family Limoniidae.  I sure wish I could get a small part of his leg and run a DNA sequence (just a wish till I move to CA).

Close up of curious winged insect

Close up of Wingless Crane Fly

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