Currently viewing the category: "Fruit Flies"
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Subject: What’s My Bug
Location: Colorado
July 3, 2015 6:48 pm
I photographed this little guy at a place called Crystal Lake, about 50 miles outside of Denver, Colorado. I really love his eyes. Can you tell me what he is please?
Signature: Ornithocheirus

Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly

Dear Ornithocheirus,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we have identified your Fruit Fly as a member of the genus
Paracantha, however the three species listed look remarkably similar and Colorado seems to be within the range of all three species, so we are reluctant to go further than identifying the genus.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber Fly?
Location: Watsonville, CA
June 11, 2015 2:33 am
Hey Bugman!
I have been finding large numbers of this mysterious (but beautiful) fly in my front yard… I’ve done a lot of internet research and cannot for the life of me figure it out… Is it a Robber Fly??? I have found them all of my Armenian Basket Flower and Artichoke… Please help! I need to know if it’s a pest or not.
Thanks,
Signature: Matt

Mating Artichoke Flies

Mating Artichoke Flies

Dear Matt,
These are most certainly not Robber Flies.  This is an introduced Artichoke Fly,
Terellia fuscicornis, a species of Fruit Fly.  Your images of a single individual are both females, as evidenced by the long ovipositor, and the image with the three flies include two males that are attempting to mate.  Interestingly, bugGuide only has images of female Artichoke Flies, and they do not provide a common name.  There are many nice images on the Natural History of Orange County site.  As an introduced species, they may pose a threat to cultivated artichokes, but we have also found information that they use Milk Thistle, an introduced pest weed in California, as a host so the jury is still out if they are an agricultural pest or a biological control agent.

Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

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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

 

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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