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

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

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Curious Girl does Spring in Europe (New species for WTB — I think)
Location:  Porto, Portugal
March 20, 2014
Hope you will forgive me Daniel for sending you the pictures this way. You can open just one mail and then pick & choose, and it’s much easier for me as I would not probably get to it if going through the web form. I do not know what most of them are and would like confirmation on those I think I might know. :~)
Seems the slow season is over!
Anyway…
I have some decent pictures of some insects both in Germany (Hanau this time) and Portugal (Porto though some from Tras os Montes soon) before I left (currently in Istanbul) so I will share a few with you, including a few I thought were just flying ants but turned out to be something far more interesting and even quite nice pictures so I am glad I bothered. Plus I do not think they are represented on the WTB site.
They are Ensign or Black Scavenger Flies of the family Sepsidae. :) And like the big Crane Flies seem to have vestigal wings. Apparently all females too.
They are Ensign or Black Scavenger Flies of the family Sepsidae. :)
And thus concludes part one of CG’s Spring 2014 Euro tour. :~)
Thanks & Happy Nowruz Daniel! :)

Black Scavenger Fly

Black Scavenger Fly

Dear Curious Girl,
Thank you for your multiple attempts to get this plethora of new imagery to us.  You are correct that we do not have Black Scavenger Flies in the family Sepsidae represented on our site, so we are posting several of those images and creating a new category.  According to BugGuide:  “Small, shining blackish flies, sometimes with a reddish tinge; spherical head; abdomen narrowed at the base. Many species have a dark spot along the costal margin of the wing near the tip.” BugGuide also notes:  “Larvae live in excrement and various types of decaying matter. Adults found near material that the larvae feed on.”  It is somewhat difficult for us to create multiple postings from a single email, so for the time being, the only posting we are creating with these images is the Black Scavenger Fly posting.  When time permits, you can try resubmitting other images using our standard submission form, limiting each submission to a single species, and ensuring that location information is correct for that species.

Black Scavenger Fly

Black Scavenger Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Dragonfly of some sort?
Location: South Central Pennsylvania
March 16, 2014 7:38 pm
I took this photo in my yard last summer. I cannot find any photos anywhere that look similar.
I never saw one before. Hoping you can help to identify it.
Signature: Karen

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Karen,
Though this is a highly off season posting, we are nonetheless thrilled to post your spectacular image of one of the most adept insect predators in North America, the Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, a species of Giant Robber Fly.  Your individual appears to be feeding on a Wasp.  According to BugGuide:  “Preys on large flying insects. Has been reported to attack Ruby-throated Hummingbirds” with a link to Hilton Pond.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly indentification please
Location: Illinois, usa
March 16, 2014 11:42 am
Hello! My name is Shawn from Connecticut. I run an insect page on instagram and am quite careful when identifying insects. This here was sent to me to identify from Illinois. I first thought it was a type of fly or perhaps a mosquito, but I am leaning more towards fly. I’d greatly appreciate your insight. Thank you very much, Shawn.
Signature: Shawn Dean (iamshawndean)

Fly on Flower

Fly on Flower

Dear Shawn,
Our first thought was that this must be a Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, but we were unable to locate a matching image on BugGuide.  We will attempt continued research.

Karl identifies a Thick Headed Fly
Hi Daniel and Shawn:
This is a variety of Thick-headed Fly (Conopidae) in the subfamily Stylogastrinae and genus Stylogaster. There are only two species of Sylogaster in the USA, S. neglecta and S. biannulate. Stylogaster neglecta appears to be the closer match and the long ovipositor indicates that it is a female. The female uses this ovipositor to pierce the body of a host orthopteran (cockroach, cricket, grasshopper or katydid) where the deposited egg becomes an endoparasite. Regards. Karl

Oh thank you so so very much Daniel. I greatly appreciate your efforts. I utilize the information on your page all the time and truly appreciate everyone who works so hard to bring us the most accurate information you can.
Thank you again,
Shawn Dean

We have updated the posting with a correction identifying this as a Thick Headed Fly, Stylogaster neglecta.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified larva in pond
Location: NNorthern Central Valley California.
March 14, 2014 10:09 am
I started a new frog pond and began seeing Mosquito larva. At first I hunted them down individually with a turkey baster and got rid of them until I suddenly had hundreds! I purchased a biological remedy safe for other wildlife and all the mosquito larva disappeared overnight thankfully. BUT there are some other larva that were unaffected. The behavior is similar to a mosquito larva as they wiggle underwater when I shine a flashlight on them but they are oval shaped when viewed from above as they keep their tailed curled underneath them. they have two tiny nubs of an antenna as well. I caught one and observed it (Too small for a picture really although I will make the attempt). But they resemble a small grammarian and most definitely have metallic green coloring as well as black. I put it right back into the pond thinking perhaps it may be a larva of something beneficial??? I absolutely love your site and use it often! Thanks!
I have already submitted this once but after poking around on the net I found a much better picture posted by someone from Colorado. I used a bacterial larvacide to get rid of the hundreds of mosquito larva in my newish pond yet these were unaffected. Behaviorally they act very much like mosquito larva but look very different. I have captured two and I am keeping them to see what develops. The other person who posted this image was unsuccessful after posting his picture on ten sites. I will not simply eradicate any animal no matter how small unless it is harmful. West Nile is active in my area so mosquitos are sentenced to death immediately but I want to give these little buggers a chance.
Signature: All life (unless it sucks blood) lover

Mosquito Pupa

Mosquito Pupa

Dear All life (unless it sucks your blood) lover,
Your remedy might have gotten rid of the Mosquito Larvae, but it did not eliminate the next stage in the metamorphosis process, the Mosquito Pupae.  This is a Mosquito Pupa, sometimes called a Tumbler, while the larvae are called Wrigglers.

Solved my own riddle!  They are Mosquito pupae and I imagine because they do not eat at this stage they are immune to the bacterial larvacide.  Luckily there are only a few that reached this stage and I am hunting them down with my trusty Turkey baster!  Love your site!  Thank you so much for the reply, I poked around on the internet and found an answer.  I am hunting these things down individually with a turkey baster and putting them into a jar with bleach.  Thank you so much for the reply.  I and my children use your site constantly.  Thank you again!

We fully understand your war on bloodsuckers.  Here at the offices of WTB?, we catch Mosquito Larvae and Pupae and feed them to our Angelfish.

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