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

Subject: Identifying wasp-like insect
Location: North East England
August 15, 2014 4:39 am
Hello there, I spotted a strange bug in my kitchen earlier today and took some pictures of it before I let it go out into my back garden. I was wondering if you could help me on the front of identifying it, as I’ve not seen anything like it before and I’m intrigued (I’m a biology student, so it has really got me wondering!). I live in the North East of England. Thank you in advance for any help!
Signature: Ryan Simmons

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Ryan,
If you look closely, you will see that this insect has only one pair of wings, indicating that it is a fly and not a wasp.  It is a Crane Fly in the family Tipulidae.  It looks very similar to this
Ctenophora pectinicornis that is posted on this Dutch website.  Some Crane Flies are attracted to lights, which might explain why it was in your kitchen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another Southern Bee Killer?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
August 14, 2014 9:55 am
I saw that you had many robber fly inquiries last week. Here is mine. :-)
You kindly identified a Southern Bee Killer for me several years ago. Is this insect the same? It was hiding in plain sight, holding perfectly still on a young crepe myrtle tree, which is a bee magnet due to its many fragrant clusters of blossoms.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Southern Bee Killer

Southern Bee Killer

Dear Ellen,
Taking a closer look at your previous submission from 2009, we now believe neither is a Southern Bee Killer,
Mallophora orcina, as the individuals pictured on BugGuide all have black-tipped abdomens.  Your individual appears to have a yellow abdomen all the way to the tip, which is why we believe it is a different species in the same genus, Mallophora fautrix.  Compare your images to this individual on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it ranges from:  “Texas west to California, southward through Mexico.”  We would really love to get an expert opinion on this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big, scary fly?
Location: Montclair, NJ
August 13, 2014 8:22 am
Hi there,
Every sunny day this summer I have had to run a gauntlet up and down my stairs, which are outdoor deck stairs, past two or three yellowjackets and one or two of these guys. At first, seeing them in flight, I thought they were black and white hornets but then I saw one landed and it rather looks like a huge fly with delta-shape wings. They buzz threateningly as they fly past. I’m wondering if they bite. I’m terrified to walk past them, but I found a very dead one on the pavement to photograph.
Signature: Amanda, Montclair NJ

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Amanda,
While Yellowjackets defending a nest might be cause for concern, this Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus, is perfectly harmless.  See BugGuide for additional information.  This dead individual may have fallen prey to another impressive and scary but harmless fly, a Robber Fly.

Thank you very much!  I was afraid it was like a horsefly that bit me once, and I won’t forget that!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big fly?
Location: corinth, tx
August 12, 2014 6:23 pm
I was . walking the dog and solve this bug eating a cicada.it looked like it was about one and a half to 2 inches long. I have never seen one and I wanted to know what it was.
Signature: Larry L.

Robber Fly eats Cicada

Robber Fly eats Cicada

Dear Larry,
This is some species of Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and it is not a species we immediately recognize, so we are going to have to research its identity.  It is indeed eating a Cicada.  Robber Flies are highly specialized predators that are very adept at taking large prey on the wing.  Texas and Arizona both have unusual, not commonly seen Robber Flies that are not found elsewhere in the U.S., though the ranges of those species frequently extend into Mexico.  We believe that based on this image from BugGuide, it may be
Microstylum morosum.  According to Beetles in the Bush, this is “North America’s largest robber fly” and “Until recently, Microstylum morosum was considered a Texas-endemic.  However, Beckemeyer and Carlton (2000) documented this species to be much more broadly distributed in the southern Great Plains (from Texas up into Oklahoma and Kansas and west into New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado), and Warriner (2004) recorded it shortly afterwards in Arkansas.”  We wrote to Eric Eaton to see if he agrees with our identification.

Eric Eaton concurs
I would agree.  Seems to be a pretty distinctive species.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Looks to be a Red-footed Cannibalfly
Location: Franklin, TN (Nashville area)
August 11, 2014 1:32 pm
We’re looking for a confirmation on this being a robber fly. Your site was soo helpful in both researching what we saw out our front door and learning more about the bug in question.
This guy was about 3 cm in length and “snacking” on a wasp.
Our 3 and 5 yr old were fighting for the best position to watch this guy through a window. Question – how bad would a bite from this guy be to a small kid? And, is it okay to hang out around them as they protect our air space?
Signature: Jeff

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Paper Wasp

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Paper Wasp

Hi Jeff,
We agree that this is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, and it appears to be eating a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes (See BugGuide).  We believe a bite from a Red Footed Cannibalfly would be painful, but otherwise present no lasting effects, however we should qualify that that we believe the chances of being bitten are at about 0% unless a person decided to try to catch a Red Footed Cannibalfly by hand.  They are not aggressive towards humans, and if provoked, they would most likely just fly off.  Handling them is a totally different matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: mosquito or some stinger?
Location: Switzerland
August 10, 2014 1:20 pm
Hi, should I be worried about this flying around my daughter’s room?
Signature: Cathy

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Cathy,
This is a Crane Fly, and it is perfectly harmless. In an attempt to identify the species, we found this FlickR image from Portugal identified as
 Nephrotoma crocata luteata, and it looks very similar to your image, though your image is quite blurry.  This image of Nephrotoma quadrifaria from France on Superstock looks even closer. We also located this image of Nephrotoma crocata from France on iGoTerra.

Wow, that’s it! Thank you so much! 😀

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination