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

Subject: what kind of insect is this?
Location: southeastern Pennsylvania
May 10, 2014 3:45 pm
I was playing with my son in the yard, when I felt something crawling on my leg. I let it walk onto my hand, and then I put it on the bush…didn’t want to squash them, while they were mating :-)
We live in Southeast Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Photo was taken on May 09, 2014
Signature: Bob M.

March Flies

March Flies

Dear Bob,
These are March Flies in the family Bibionidae, and they are an example of extreme sexual dimorphism.  The male on the left has a large head and eyes, while the head and eyes on the female on the right are much smaller.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose “swarms” and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber (Plecia lay eggs on the soil surface). Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).”

Thank you for the quick reply. I appreciate the information, and your response.
Bob

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: March fly?
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
May 6, 2014 11:20 am
I have a bug that is the same as these:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2014/05/06/march-fly-2/
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2013/09/07/lovebug-we-believe/
I’m hoping with the pictures I’m attaching, we can get the species figured out!
Signature: Courtney

March Fly

March Fly

Dear Courtney,
This is a female (small head) March Fly in the family Bibionidae, as you suspect.  We are not certain of the species.

March Fly

March Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug identification
Location: Long island new york
May 5, 2014 2:14 pm
What is this bug and how fo i get rid of it? Please help
Signature: Concerned home owner

March Flies

March Flies

Dear Concerned home owner,
These are March Flies and we believe we have correctly identified them as
Bibio fraternus thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  Many March Flies are sexually dimorphic, with males having bigger heads and huge eyes and females having much smaller heads and eyes.  We do not provide extermination advice.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black bug with orange belly
Location: Charleston, SC
May 5, 2014 5:07 pm
Hello!
I live in Charleston, SC and just today have seen many black flying bugs (1/2 inch long) with orange bellies all around town…literally everywhere I go.
Signature: -Evan

March Fly

March Fly

Hi Evan,
This appears to be a March Fly in the family Bibionidae, but there is not enough detail in your images to provide a more specific identification.  See BugGuide for more information on the family.

That’s what I thought too (“love bug” but they don’t have the orange behind their heads. Perhaps just a different type.
Thanks Daniel!

Lovebugs, which generally live further South, are one type of March Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New to gardening
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Fl
March 15, 2014 8:42 am
Starting a new garden about two weeks ago. Just planted some seeds and starter plants. Noticed last night that these little bugs were everywhere. I think they might be fungus gnats. Some were mating. Climbing mostly on the wood of my raised garden bed. What are they and how do I get ride of them if they are bad bugs?
Signature: Cheri

March Fly

March Fly

Hi Cheri,
We are nearly certain that both of the images you submitted are of March Flies in the family Bibionidae, and we are certain they are of different sexes, and they might be of different species.  First we will discuss the male March Fly.  His big head and larger eyes are typical of the sexual dimorphism or visual difference between the sexes that is typical of this family.  He looks like he might be Bibio albipennis, based on images posted to BugGuide, and BugGuide indicates it is:  “The most common and widespread species of
Bibio.”  The female with her smaller head appears to be a different species because of the black wings.  She might be Dilophus orbatus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  The family page on BugGuide indicates:  “larvae live gregariously in the top layers of soil and leaf litter, rotten wood, and dung; adults often found on flowers” and “larvae feed on leaf and needle litter, decaying organic matter, also on subterranean structures of live plants.”  If you started your garden with rich compost, that might explain the large numbers of March Flies that are appearing in your garden.  BugGuide also notes:  “Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose “swarms” and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber (Plecia lay eggs on the soil surface). Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).”

Female March Fly

Female March Fly

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Belly Fly/mosquito
Location: Mississippi, United States
September 7, 2013 10:26 am
Can you please tell me what these are? They are the most annoying insects more annoying than flies or mosquitos!
Signature: ThomasOwens

Probably Lovebug

Probably Lovebug

Dear Thomas,
We wish you had a dorsal view of this insect, which we believe is a March Fly in the genus
Plecia, commonly called a Lovebug because mated pairs remain joined for an extended period of time.  They can get very common in the south when they form huge swarms.  According to BugGuide, they are also known as Honeymoon Flies.

Probably March Fly

Probably March Fly

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for sending a dorsal view.  We no longer believe this is a Lovebug, but we still believe it is some species of March Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination