Subject: Thaumatomyia glabra
Location: Northeast Florida
June 23, 2012 10:15 pm
I always enjoy reading What’s That Bug and it’s been awhile since I sent in a photo. I saw this tiny fly (about 2-3mm) on a lantana plant in my yard in northeast Florida. When I looked at the photo and saw the coloring and details, at first I thought it looked like some kind of Hover Fly. I went to BugGuide and started searching, and I finally found my fly (I think)– Thaumatomyia glabra. If you would like to include it on What’s That Bug, you’re welcome to do so.
Signature: Karen in FL
Thanks for your compliments. We checked BugGuide and learned that your species, Thaumatomyia glabra, is classified in the Frit Fly family Chloropidae and the Grass Fly subfamily Chloropinae and that “‘The larvae of Chloropisca glabra are peculiar among Chloropids in being predaceous on root aphids.’ — Sabrosky, 1935″. It seems they are among the most beneficial members of the family because BugGuide states on the family page: “Larvae feed on grass stems. Some are serious pests of cereals. Some scavengers, some parasitic or predaceous” and “They are attracted to the eyes, sometimes are called eye gnats. They are vectors of yaws and pink eye.” Thank you so much for sending us your photo.