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

Subject: rattailed maggot safety
December 21, 2013 6:43 pm
we have found rattailed maggots in our soaking seaweed and also in our fish fertilizer barrel. My questions are these.
Would these not be there unless a fly had accessed the water?
How safe are these maggots to feed to chickens( who love insects)?
Humans safety:Is there any problem with watering our vege garden with this water? with these in it ?
Signature: Margarette

Rattailed Maggots (from our archives)

Rattailed Maggots (from our archives)

Hi Margarette,
Rattailed Maggots are the larvae of Drone Flies and they are generally found in situations associated with decomposition, like foul water or compost piles.  To the best of our knowledge, they do not pose any threat to humans and you should be able to use your fertilizer as well as feed the chickens.  We once wrote an extensive response to someone who found Rattailed Maggots in a Comfrey Tea they were brewing.  You are correct that the female Drone Fly would have been attracted to the decomposition in the water and laid the eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Malaysia
December 10, 2013 3:38 am
I found this weird-looking insect during my holiday in Malaysia. What is this? I think, this is possibly a type of mosquito.
Signature: Lanzz

What's That Bug???

Possibly Crane Fly

Dear Lanzz,
We have no idea what this insect is, but we do not believe it is a Mosquito.  Our best guess is a Crane Fly, but it is a very unusual Crane Fly.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply a comment with an answer.  We apologize, but our allotted time for research has expired and we have to head for work to give a final examination.

Erwin provides an interpretation
Subject: unknown Malaysian insect
December 11, 2013 3:12 am
Hi,
I would like to give an interpretation of the strange photo presented by Lanzz.
In my eyes there is a dead stick insect lying on the ground, with two legs missing. A tiny part of one of these missing legs can be seen near the insect. And I see another planarium-like creature or maybe a slug attached to the body of the stick insect and maybe feeding on it.
(I know my English is not 100% perfect, but I hope I can make myself understand)
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Close up showing hidden antennae

Close up showing hidden antennae

Update:  December 11, 2013
We are posting an enlarged view in response to Erwin’s comment.  In a lower resolution image, Erwin’s explanation seems possible, however, we took a vertical image of the insect on a wall and rotated it to maximize its size on our site.  The original file was reduced in resolution to be web compliant.  This appears to be a pair of wings held above the body.  At the right of the image, partially obscured by the leg, is the head with tiny antennae.  We do not believe this is a dead Stick Insect being eaten by a Planarium.  We are not certain that it is a Crane Fly, but we do believe it is a flying insect.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Crab Spider with Flesh Fly in Cyprus
Location: Nicosia (Lefkosia), Cyprus
December 6, 2013 2:49 pm
Seems the site submissions might have slowed down a bit so thought I would send you a two-part submission of the same beautiful yellow lady spider on different days back last February (though mistakingly the pictures are titled with 0212 it was 0213).
The first day she had captured what I believe is a flesh fly (which I know because of this site).
What I find amazing is she’s not holding on with her legs.
So, the question is, is there a name for this crab spider?
Part two coming in a moment.
Signature: Curious Girl

Crab Spider Eats Fly

Crab Spider Eats Fly

Subject: Crab Spider with Mate in Cyprus
Location: Nicosia (Lefkoşa), Cyprus
December 6, 2013 2:56 pm
Hi Again Daniel!
This is the second part showing the Beautiful Yellow Crab Spider on her flower in the first picture. But when I looked closely at her I realized she had additional legs encircling her. That’s when I realized she was being courted and I took a lot of pictures (so I have more if you want them). The little guy was all over her, as can be seen in the second picture.
Really amazing the size difference. On the flower next to her too was at least one other gentleman I guess hoping for a chance but not willing to get on the flower yet. I have some pics of him too.
Signature: Curious Girl

Crab Spiders Mating

Crab Spiders Mating

Dear Curious Girl,
Thanks for waiting until our number of submissions declined.  North American winter is our slowest time of the year for identification requests, but that is also the time the Australian, South African and other southern hemisphere submissions peak, but there are not nearly as many as we get during the summer.  Most of our northern hemisphere submissions at this time are for carpet beetles and other household intruders.  Your photos are awesome.  We cannot confirm that the prey is a Flesh Fly, and though your photos say it all, we would love to be able to provide you with a species name for this lovely Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae.  The knobs on the abdomen are quite distinctive, and if this species is like others in the family, color is not an accurate identifying feature as many Crab Spiders are colored so they blend in with their surroundings, which your photos graphically illustrate.  We found a similar looking individual posted to PBase and again her on PBase, but alas, there is no species ID.  There is another unidentified image on TrekNature.  We wonder if this might be the Goldenrod Crab Spider ,
Misumena vatia, which according to Animal Diversity Web, is found in Europe as well as North America.

Crab Spiders Mating

Crab Spiders Mating

Correction Update:  December 8, 2013 7:44 am
I saw the pictures of the yellow Thomisidae spider of which you say it might be Misumena vatia. Of course I am no specialist at all, only generally interested in insects and spiders, but I have seen several Misumena vatia females here in Europe (Germany and other countries) and not one had these two tubercles (if this is the right word). I understand that such tubercles occur in genus Thomisus, and I found a picture of a spider that is similar to those posted by “Curious Girl”, identified as T. onustus:
http://www.treknature.com/gallery/photo155051.htm
Kind regards, Erwin
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Thanks so much for the correction Erwin.  It is greatly appreciated.  Nick’s Spiders of Britain and Europe has some wonderful photos showing various color variations on Thomisus onustus, including a yellow form, and they all have the bumps on the abdomen.  Encyclopedia of Life also pictures a yellow individual that closely resembles the spider photographed by Curious Girl.

Curious Girl Writes Back
Ah well, you snooze you lose :~)
I was going to reply to tell you that I had found the spider name. Of course I needed to be reminded, or prompted by you but, I’ve found if I look up insects of Greece that many of those found on Cyprus will be revealed as they share a similar zoology (?). So, I had found Thomisus onustus as the genus name but the common English name is Heather Spider. Not all that different from Goldenrod.
Ironically, just before I left on my big travel adventure I randomly found a Goldenrod Crab Spider in my bed. An odd place for her I thought. I had seen pictures of them and found them fascinating so hoped to find one someday but really was not expecting one where I found her. That one was white with the pretty pink bands.
Seems the Heather Spider can be yellow (as we see) white, pink, and even partly green.
I wonder though if you noticed that not only does she happened to have what appears to be pollen on her pedipalps but also that her silk seems very yellow as well. She’s also missing a front leg on her right side.
Seems the little ones will eat pollen and nectar if they can’t capture prey. Might help them with their color change miracles.
Good job to Erwin on identifying the spider, and maybe he can find an identification for the wasps from Germany I sent in last year. :~)
Oh, and thank you for the compliments on my pics. When I get the others ready I’ll send a few more to you (if you’d like).

Oh, and the Encyclopedia of Life link has the common Portuguese name for the spider which is “Aranha-florícola-de-tubérculos” which makes me happy because Portugal is my favorite place in the world. This leads to a great picture of a spider guarding her egg-sac.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisgaifem/5989104744/

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bumble Bee Assult
Location: Central Michigan
November 27, 2013 6:51 pm
Greetings, I took this picture back in 2005 when out of a mid morning walk through a semi wooded in Michigan. Eastern side of the northern L.P. (Yale if ya can find it on a map). I recently came across the image again and I’m baffled by what is attacking(?) that poor bee. Doesn’t look like a mosquito, but does appear to attacking like one. Wish a had a shot from the other side, but they both took off when I tried moving around them. Wondering if you can help identify the attacker, and clarify if this is an aggressive attack leading to the bees death or just a blood meal feeding like mosquitos do? Thanks
Signature: Glenn

Golden Northern Bumble Bee attacked by possibly Tachinid Fly

Golden Northern Bumble Bee and Syrphid FLy

Hi Glenn,
We believe, but we are not certain, that your bee is a Golden Northern Bumble Bee,
Bombus fervidus, and you can compare your image to photos posted to BugGuide.  We are guessing the fly is a Tachinid Fly, and according to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”  We will check with Eric Eaton to get his opinion on this photo.

Eric Eaton provides some input
Looks like a male bumble bee of some kind, with a syrphid riding on it (Allograpta, Toxomerus, or something else, awkward angle at which to make an identification of either insect).
Eric

Hi,
Thanks for the quick reply, and information. Has a tough shot, had the camera about a foot over my head trying to see the screen at a pretty shallow angle. But it’s had me wondering back then and now. I presume it leads to the death of the bumble bee over time. Seems internal feeding wouldn’t bode well for the host =(
Hope ya had a good Thanksgiving
Glenn

Hi again Glenn,
Eric Eaton believes the fly to be a Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  If that is the case, it most likely just alighted on the Bumble Bee and there was no predation involved.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Footed Cannibalfly?
Location: Sydney, Australia
November 27, 2013 7:14 pm
Hello,
I believe this is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, after seeing similar pictures on your site! Thank you for your informative pages, I was just so curious to identify this insect when I saw it catch a bee and fly away with it!
I am in Australia, and it is summer – have never seen or heard of these before… are they common to Australia? I was wondering where they typically live/breed (trees? burrows?) and are they harmful to pets at all?
Signature: Evie.

Robber Fly with prey

Robber Fly with prey

Hi Evie,
The Red Footed Cannibalfly is a North American species of Robber Fly, and your individual is a Robber Fly as well, but a different species.  It appears that your large Robber Fly is feeding on a Honey Bee, and bees and wasps are common prey for the large Robber Flies.  Your Robber Fly resembles this
Cerdistus species pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Carpenter Bee Robber Fly
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
November 21, 2013 2:47 am
I took these yesterday in my drive way.
Signature: Tiaan

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Tiaan,
Thanks for sending us your photos of a Carpenter Bee Robber Fly,
Hyperechia marshalli, feeding on a Honey Bee.  They are a nice addition to our Food Chain tag.

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination