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

Subject: what’s this bug
Location: 1 hr north of Houston TX
April 29, 2014 6:17 pm
I only got one pic of this bug before it flew away, so it can fly. It has a very unique marking on the top of the thorax, huge eyes. Looks like a digging or stabbing beak. Hairy legs. this bug is between 1 1/2 and 2 inches long.
Signature: I don’t know the answer

Robber Fly:  Laphria saffrana

Robber Fly: Laphria saffrana

And we are very happy you managed to get that one photo.  This is a Bee-Like Robber Fly, Laphria saffrana.  We identified this magnificent predator on BugGuide where it states:  “Bromley (1934) considered this species to be a mimic of the queen of the southern yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa.”  Laphria saffrana is also represented on iNaturalist.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: tiny bugs on outside walls of house
Location: Phoenix AZ
April 28, 2014 3:22 pm
we just noticed these buggers on our outside walls. they don’t appear to fly; when i touch the wall near one, it falls,. the photo is of a bougainvillea petal floating in our pool, with what (i think?) appears to be a queen! either that, or something wanting to eat them all. please help, so we know what to do, if you can. they are getting inside one window which doesn’t seal properly and a parakeet lives near that window! thank you!!
Signature: suzy

Possibly Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs and Syrphid Fly

Possibly Immature False Chinch Bugs and Frit Fly

Dear Suzy,
These immature Heteropterans look remarkably like some still unidentified, possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs we posted from Montana in 2012.  The Fly may be a Syrphid Fly, a family that has many species with larvae that feed on Aphids, members of the same insect order as your True Bugs.  We will try to get Eric Eaton’s opinion on this identification.

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
Wow, immatures are really hard.  I suspect something in the “Lygaeoidea” like you do, but….Fly might be a Chloropidae [Ed. Note:  See BugGuide].  This whole image looks like something out of a sweep net sample through a grassland.
Eric

Ed. Note:  May 2, 2014
We posted some images of a very similar Heteropteran nymph that might be a False Chinch Bug,
Nysius raphanus, and the same is likely true for this posting.  According to Colorado State University Extension:  “Mass migrations of false chinch bugs in the vicinity of buildings are primarily associated with very hot, dry weather. This may force the insects to move from drying weed hosts to seek shelter and higher humidity. Migrations indoors may occur through openings and cause nuisance problems. However, false chinch bugs do not bite, do not feed nor damage anything indoors, and will ultimately die out if trapped inside.  Irrigated landscapes adjacent to buildings may further encourage false chinch bug migrations to these areas. Therefore it may be desirable to temporarily discontinue watering in the immediate vicinity of the building when a problem migration is in progress. Providing cool, humid areas at some distance may encourage the insects to move away more rapidly.”  According to BugGuide:  “3 (or more) species are introduced N. caledoniae, huttoni, vinitor” which supports our believe that this might be an invasive exotic species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Baffled by Big Black Bug
Location: Beaverton, OR
April 26, 2014 7:41 pm
Daniel,
Just in case it’s interesting, here’s another picture from the same excursion of a tiny critter we found in a pond.  My “Pond Life” book leads me to believe it’s not a larva but a mosquito pupa. I had no idea that pupas could be free swimming, lively animals as opposed to motionless inside a cocoon!
Thank you again,
Laura

Tumbler, AKA Mosquito Pupa

Tumbler, AKA Mosquito Pupa

Hi Laura,
Thank you for sending in your excellent image of a Mosquito Pupa, or Tumbler as it is sometimes called.  Mosquito Pupae are incredibly mobile, and they are also capable of sensing danger, tumbling away from the water surface and into the depths.  Mosquito Larvae are called Wrigglers because of the way they move through the water, and the tumbling motion of the Pupae led to the common name Tumblers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee or Fly?
Location: Andover, New Jersey
April 19, 2014 9:10 am
I found several of these little guys sucking up nectar on some hyacinths this morning. Haven’t seen these before and am thinking that it is some sort of mimic fly? Hoping you can help.
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Hi Deborah,
These are amazingly detailed images of a Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, a species that if found in Europe as well as North America.  As you have surmised, this is a fly that mimics a bee, and it is a pollinating species.  Greater Bee Flies generally make their appearance early in the spring.

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Masonry Bee?
Location: London, South East England.
April 11, 2014 1:15 pm
Hi! I would just like some clarification please! We noticed today that we had what appear to be bees flying in and out of a hole in the wall on our flat. We’ve lived here for years & it’s the first year we’ve noticed it. We’ve done googling and suspect them (it?) to be Masonry Bees but would love clarification as we’re both wimps when it comes to flying stinging things and would love to know where we stand for our own sakes but also that of the cats who seem to think the hole provides them with flying toys! And we obviously don’t want either to get hurt. It doesn’t look quite right for a masonry bee but doesn’t look like honey bees / bumble bees / hornets etc so we turn to your expertise! Thank you!
Signature: Tofu K

Drone Fly

Drone Fly

Dear Tofu K,
This is a harmless Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax, and we were puzzled by your observations that is was “flying in and out of a hole in the wall,” and we learned something very interesting on Nature Spot where it states they can be observed:  “Virtually all year round. The female hibernates in buildings and crevices but will emerge on warm days in late winter, leading to it being seen in virtually every month of the year.”  Larval Drone Flies are known as Rat-Tailed Maggots.  More information is available on UK Safari.

Daniel,
Thank you for your prompt reply! I was expecting to wait a little while as the websites state you may have to.
Thank you for putting our minds at ease! I was concerned it was some beastly giant buzzing bee we were going to have to live with! And very “pleased” that they sometimes mimic bees – it means we’re not going completely crazy!
Glad you learnt something new about them too!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee/Wasp??
Location: Medway, Kent, UK
April 10, 2014 5:28 am
Hi, I’m from Medway, Kent in the UK.
Whilst on my lunch break today in the park I noticed this bug hoovering by my feet. It had 6 legs, wings, was orangey in colour, with a pointy thing (to collect nectar??) at the front of it’s face? and it’s body when viewed from above was triangular.
I’ve never seen this before? The weather here has been a misture of cloudy sun and rain with an average temperature of 13 degrees. It was approx the size of an average bee or wasp.
Signature: Claire

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Hi Claire,
This is a Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, a fly that mimics bees and it does gather nectar with that long proboscis.  You can read more about the Greater Bee Fly on the Natural History Museum website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination