Currently viewing the category: "Big Headed Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a wasp?
Location: Coastal San Diego County
July 22, 2012 12:36 pm
Found this in my backyard in San Diego in mid July. It is 3/8” long. Can you identify it?
I’m guessing it’s a beneficial parasitic wasp of some kind?
Signature: Clint

Big Headed Fly, possibly

Hi Clint,
This is most definitely not a wasp.  It is a fly.  We believe it is either a Big Headed Fly in the family Pipunculidae which is represented on BugGuide by a few species that look generally like your individual, though none are an exact match.  If it is not a Big Headed Fly, our second choice would be a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, but there are too many possibilities for us to want to undertake that task after a long busy day at the day job and an evening of local activism regarding transportation issues.
  Big Headed Flies and Syrphid Flies are grouped in the not taxonomically recognized category that is a between the Order and Family, though it is not considered a Suborder.  The insect diversity in Southern California is great, so we try to post unusual submissions from there whenever possible. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange fly from Texas
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
May 13, 2011 8:19 pm
I have recently noticed a few of these flies on my apartment patio that I have never seen before. They started appearing the last week in April. I haven’t seen more than 3 at any one time, usually only one is hanging around. They are not scared easily and I was able to get VERY close to take pictures without any problem. Seems like they appeared after some recent heavy rain, but I’m not certain there is a connection. Please help me identify this insect, I have more pictures if needed. Thank you for your time.
Signature: Robert E.

Big Headed Fly

Dear Robert,
Though we were unable to locate an exact visual match, your fly has the necessary characteristics for us to deduce that it must be a Big Headed Fly in the family Pipunculidae which is profiled on BugGuide.  The identification description is:  “Hemispheric head almost completely made up of the huge compound eyes. Body usually black. Wings tend to be elongated and to be narrowed at the base. Antennae are aristate and the (usually long) arista arises on the dorsal side of the antenna. Dissection of genitalia normally required for identification of species.”  We eagerly welcome our readership to either confirm or make a correction to our identification.

Big Headed Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination