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

Subject: Fly identification
Location: Colorado
March 21, 2014 6:51 pm
Hi,
I have a couple of flies that I haven’t been able to identify.
The first I thought would be easy, however, I’m coming up empty! I’ve Googled lots of phrases, and gone through the photos on here (I think I hit them all), but didn’t see any matches. This one was in late June of 2010 in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO.
The second and third are of the same insect. I believe is a picture-wing fly, but it could also be a fruit fly, as it’s a very tiny insect. This one was in late May of 2012 in Red Rocks in Morrison, CO.
Thank you so much for your help! (Also, your book is fabulous!)
Signature: Amy

Fruit Fly:  possibly Aciurina trixa

Fruit Fly: possibly Aciurina trixa

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the compliment and we are happy to hear you enjoyed The Curious World of Bugs.  We believe your second fly is a Fruit Fly in the family Tephritidae, not a Picture Winged Fly.  The closest match we were able to locate on BugGuide is the Bubble Gall Tephritid,
Aciurina trixa, though the pattern on the wings of the single individual posted to BugGuide is a bit different.  The photographer did make this note regarding an unpictured species in the same genus:  “This keyed to Aciurina bigeloviae in the excellent 1993 reference by Foote, Blanc, and Norrbom(1), and everything fit well (e.g. descriptions, wing diagram, location, host plant). Foote et al. mentioned that two other species had been synonymized with A. bigeloviae by Styeyskal in 1984, and that this was the most widespread and commonly encountered species of all the Chrysothamnus-feeding Aciurina…as well as the most variable. (In fact, the detailed synonymy and references for A. bigeloviae take up an entire page in their book!).”  So, we believe we have the genus correct, but the species remains questionable.  Your individual is a female based on the presence of the ovipositor.

Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another half bee half fly.
Location: Midwestern United States
September 11, 2013 6:32 pm
I can’t identify this insect. Any help?
Signature: Josh

Fruit Fly:  Eurosta comma

Fruit Fly: Eurosta comma

Dear Josh,
Your photo isn’t that sharp, but based on this image from BugGuide, we believe this is a Fruit Fly,
Eurosta comma.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd fly
Location: Laguna Beach, CA 92651
May 1, 2013 11:50 pm
This fly looks similar to a bathroom fly but is somewhat different. It was crawling on a piece of paper in our living room. I live in Laguna beach California.
Signature: Robert

Med Fly

Med Fly

Dear Robert,
This sure looks like a Mediterranean Fruit Fly or Med Fly, Ceratitis capitata, to us.  See this matching image on BugGuide.  The Med Fly rose to notoriety and became a Southern California icon in the 1980s because of the aerial spraying that occurred in many parts of Los Angeles in an unsuccessful attempt to limit the spread of this invasive exotic species.  According to BugGuide:  “One of the world’s most destructive fruit pests, and the most economically important fruit fly species. Each infestation detected in FL and CA triggered massive eradication and detection effort. In CA, large numbers of sterile males are released and are not uncommon in some places. A female (they have a visible ovipositor on the rear tip of the abdomen) would be a sign of an infestation, and should be reported immediately.”  Your fly has an ovipositor, and we would strongly recommend reporting it to your local authorities.  You can probably contact the Center for Invasive Species at UC Riverside.

Wow, I had never seen one before.
An interesting side note: My 6-year-old grandson, who loves
entomology, caught the fruit fly outside on a plant using a real
insect aspirator. He brought it inside to show me and it got out of
the holding tube.
BTW, I see you live in Mt. Washington. My son and daughter both have
homes in Mt. Washington and they love it. Also, you must be friends
with the entomologist Julian Donahue, who I believe lives there too.
Thanks for identifying this “bug”! I will call the Center for Invasive Species.
-Robert

Hi again Robert,
It really is a small world and Mount Washington is a gem of a community.  Also I am friends with Julian Donahue and I just saw him last night.

Hello Daniel,
Yes, it certainly is a small world! Please give my regards to Julian
the next time you see him. He knows me as “Robin” as I go by both
“Robert” and “Robin.”
BTW, Nick Nisson, the county entomologist ad agricultural commissioner
of Orange County told me today that the sterile Med Flies that they
released were 50% male and 50% female. So he said not to be concerned
but that if I found the fly (which was inside my living room) to send
it to him for examination.
Very best wishes,
-Robert/Robin

Julian Donahue provides some insight
Small world indeed!
I’ve known Robin Commagère for decades, through The Lepidopterists’ Society.  …
BTW, the sterile medflies released by the agriculture folks usually have spots of a pink dye on them, so that they can be differentiated from non-sterile (and therefore of concern) flies.
Julian

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bizarre Stripey-Eyed Alien-Looking Fruit Fly?
Location: Del Mar, CA
March 20, 2013 5:48 pm
Hi, it’s Darlene, the bug wrangler from last year’s moth night. I found this bizarre looking bug on May 7, 2011 in Del Mar, CA on a cold and cloudy day. It was hanging out on a railing at a delicious burrito stand. I’ve never seen striped eyes like that. I believe it’s a fruit fly. I love the white dots and the white border on the wings.
Signature: Darlabutterfly

Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly

Hi again Darlene,
Bingo on the Fruit Fly identification.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a member of the genus
Eutreta thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states they are:  “gall-formers on Asteraceae.”

Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Thank you
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
August 15, 2012 3:46 pm
Hi to everyone at WTB,
I found out about your site recently, and I was deeply impressed by the kind and tolerant attitude you promote towards the beings we share the planet with! It’s heartening that in spite of the flak you probably get for the sentiment, you stick by it with such resolve.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a little (literally) bug rescue story that happened here around the end of July. We (my parents and I) are happy to have insects and spiders in our home, the latter having become of special interest since I started learning about spiders with the help of BugGuide. My grandparents feel the same way for the most part, but there are still a few things that irk them! We’d been getting complaints about swarms of tiny flying insects in their kitchen and one of their bathrooms. My mom even reported some tried to boldly go where few flies had gone before: up the noses of her and her co-workers as they ate during a meeting being held there! Needless to say, I got pretty curious after that.
It turned out that food was often left out longer than it should have been, which provided a fine environment for the 2.5mm fruit flies. There were lots, maybe more than a hundred, especially in the kitchen! I was saddened when I learned my grandparents had been killing them, so I offered to transport the bunch to our compost, where fruit flies thrive and are in turn valuable food for wasps, spiders, and other visitors.
I setup some containers which I baited with cherries and grapes, and I also put some fruit on the counter. I wanted to photograph the flies to show my grandparents what amazing creatures they are up close. I then left, and returned an hour later to find dozens of flies taking the bait. I quickly covered the containers, brought them to our compost, and released everyone. Within just a few such trips, most of the flies were gone, and I’m sure much happier in their new home.
The included photograph is of one of the flies feeding on a grape I left on the counter. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to shoot any of them from multiple angles. They came and went too fast. I believe they’re in the family Drosophilidae, but beyond that I don’t know. I’ve also posted a shot of a different individual to BugGuide here:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/681386
In closing, I should say that while I hope you enjoy the photograph and the story behind it, I’m not asking for an ID on the fly. I know you folks are very busy and don’t want to put any more on your plate. But it’s not everyday that one finds people that genuinely care about ”bugs”, so I wanted to make contact and thank you for running this site the way you do!
Signature: Kyron

Vinegar Fly

Hi Kyron,
This is one of the best letters we have received in quite some time, not only for the sentiment, but also for the depth of the detail that you went into for your explanation.   We also have Fruit Flies, or better Vinegar Flies in our kitchen.  They flock to the overripe bananas and to the garden fresh tomatoes that begin to turn before we have a chance to eat them.  They were tolerated until they discovered the vinegar culture we have been propagating, prompting us to cover the vinegar vat with a layer of thin cloth to keep the buggers out.  We believe your fly is in the genus
Drosophila as it seems to match this image on BugGuide.  We don’t bother to relocate the Vinegar Flies.  We just eliminate the food source and they soon disperse or become prey to the spiders and other predators that are welcome in our home and office.  We do admit that there is a teeming population in our own compost pile and that the lizards are frequently found in the compost pile feeding on the flies that are attracted.  Thank you again for your support and we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  In closing, we want to compliment you on the excellent quality of your macro-photograph that is wonderfully detailed and puts our own attempts at macro-photography (we really need a better lens) to shame.

Kyron Responds
Great to hear from you, and thanks for finding the genus.  The fly sure
looks like the one you linked to.  I never knew they liked vinegar or
were called Vinegar Flies.  Very interesting!
We used to have some of these (or related I guess) in our kitchen too,
and we also let them be since their numbers never got very high.
They’ve since disappeared, except for the odd few that occasionally
follow us back from the compost.
I’m very glad you liked the shot and appreciate the compliment.  No
fancy equipment is needed though!  I used the kit (not a macro) lens
that came with my camera, mounted in reverse, as I do for most of my
bug shots nowadays.  One can get some high magnification with very
little expense by reversing lenses.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what’s this
Location: Denver, Colorado
July 21, 2012 9:40 pm
I can’t identity this bug. Photos were taken in July, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. I’ve seen several of these tiny bugs on the leaves of our sunflowers.
Signature: Mark Silverstein

What’s That Fruit Fly???

Hi Mark,
This is some species of Fruit Fly in the family Tephritidae, but we have not had any luck with a conclusive identification on Bugguide.  It does not resemble the images of the Sunflower Maggot Fruit Fly posted to BugGuide, though that would seem to be an obvious choice based on the location where they were found.

Daniel:
thanks for the prompt reply, and for narrowing my search down to the Tephritidae.
–mark

Unidentified Fruit Fly

Please let us know if you find an identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination