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

Subject: what kind of flying bug is this?
Location: massachusetts, USA
July 23, 2015 12:18 pm
it was flying around my room and had a very loud buzz.
Signature: tim

Robber Fly Carnage

Robber Fly Carnage

Dear Tim,
This is a harmless, beneficial, predatory Robber Fly, and it will obviously buzz no more.  In an effort to educate our readership on the harmlessness of most insects, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage  In the future, if you are able to trap an unwanted bug indoors in a glass, you can slip a postcard over the opening and relocate the critter outside.

Thank you for telling me what the bug was. I killed the insect because i saw the huge tail it had. It looked like a stinger that could do some damage. I don’t love killing anything, but i wasn’t going to take the chance to get a sting or a bite from a potentially poisonous insect.
I did read they can bite humans. They also have a toxic saliva that liquifies their prey.
Sometime i do catch the insects and let them outside. I wasnt going to take a chance with this unknown bug with a baby in the house though. Hopefully you understand.

Dear Tim,
Your explanation is fully understandable.  What you mistook for a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female, an organ used to lay eggs, and interestingly,  in wasps, bees and some ants, the ovipositor has evolved into a stinger.  We imagine the bite of a Robber Fly might have some unpleasant side effects, but we have never received a report of a person being bitten by one, nor have we heard of anyone who tried to handle a Robber Fly, which we imagine might result in a bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: swarm of caterpillars
Location: Fairfax, VA
July 21, 2015 11:40 am
This has got to be the most unusual behavior I’ve ever seen – a swarm of small (5 – 8 mm in length), translucent caterpillars, slowly moving across a sidewalk (to get to the other side, of course!) in a stream nearly the width of the sidewalk, with a depth of several individuals. I did not see it from the beginning, but I estimate it took about 15 minutes for them to reach the other side. It was most similar to watching schooling fish, but in slow motion. I assume this is adaptive behavior for the same reason as schooling and herds? This was at 8 AM on a very humid day, if relevant. Any idea as to species? Have you heard of this before? Is swarm the right term?
Signature: Seth

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Dear Seth,
This fascinating phenomenon is an aggregation of Fungus Gnat Larvae in the family Sciaridae.  We generally reserve the term swarm for winged species while in flight.

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug mystery in quebec
Location: my yard, near montreal and quebec city, quebec, canada
July 19, 2015 3:45 pm
hi there bugman. found a bug, couldn’t identify it, we’re curious if you can help us. it was pooping white/transparent goop, head upside down in the grasses of my yard. location: southern quebec, canada.
Signature: s+r

Rodent Bot Fly Ovipositing

Bot Fly Ovipositing

Dear s+r,
You images are a thrilling addition to our archives.  This is a female Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra, and she appears to be in the process of laying eggs, the “white/transparent goop” that you observed.  Rodent Bot Flies are parasites of rabbits, mice, squirrels and other rodents.  According to BugGuide:  “Females typically deposit eggs in the burrows and “runs” of rodent or rabbit hosts. A warm body passing by the eggs causes them to hatch almost instantly and the larvae glom onto the host. The larvae are subcutaneous (under the skin) parasites of the host. Their presence is easily detected as a tumor-like bulge, often in the throat or neck or flanks of the host. The larvae breathe by everting the anal spiracles out a hole (so they are oriented head-down inside the host). They feed on the flesh of the host, but only rarely does the host die as a result.”

Rodent Bot Fly Ovipositing

Bot Fly Ovipositing

Jeff Boetner, Bot Fly expert, provides some information.
Hi Daniel,
Nice pics. This is a relative of your mystery FL bot from a week or so ago. But this one we can ID as Cuterebra fontinella fontinella. This is a nice shot of a freshly emerged female. The fontinella bots are known for the white rumps on the last segment of the rear end. This is a huge female, they can lay over 1,000 eggs in their short lives. Most eggs are laid in mouse runways or near burrows. The fluid you saw was likely because the female just emerged from her pupae (in the soil). Bots have no mouth parts or digestive tract so no need to poop. They have to store up all their energy they need as adults, by feeding as a maggot in the mouse host, and this one did a good job of that, judging by her big body size. This one is a specialist on white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus. This species is our most common bot, yet not found as often as you would think. I have trapped over 200 mice per hectare*. in our plots in MA, and sometimes 80% will have 1-2 bots, so you would think there would be huge numbers out there. And yet many entomologists I have met, have never seen one in the wild. So consider yourself lucky…(or unlucky if you are a white-footed mouse).
Jeff

*a hectare is approximately 2 1/2 acres.

Thanks a lot for the quick answer, dude/dudette(s)! We weren’t expecting close to this quick of a response. I’ll be sure to bug you again for some more IDs (hohoho).
-Simon

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: BODYOFAGRASSHOPPER
Location: Elizabethton, Tennessee
July 18, 2015 4:33 pm
We have spent 5 hours trying to figure out what the heck this is please help!!!!!!
Signature: Jeniffer Carver

Mydas Fly

Mydas Fly

Dear Jeniffer,
This very effective wasp mimic is actually a harmless Mydas Fly,
Mydas tibialis, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Creepy bug in my house
Location: Ontario , Canada
July 17, 2015 10:18 am
Hi . Found this bug in my apartment and it freaked me out .. Kind of looks like a fly but it didn’t have wings …
Signature: Sbro

Wingless Fly

Wingless Fly

Dear Sbro,
This is definitely a Fly and it does not have any visible wings, but we don’t believe it to be a wingless species.  We suspect it is either a mutant or that it has experienced some trauma that resulted in the loss of the wings, but we are posting your image in the event that someone with better identification skills than our own can provide a species name and a theory on the winglessness.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please indentify if able, Thank You
Location: Midwest, Minnesota. United States Of America
July 17, 2015 6:36 am
Sitting, right outside my backdoor. Enjoying a morning smoke before breakfast. This little guy, decides to walk across the tows of my shoe. Down onto a leaf in the grass. Kind of resembles a bumble bee. Only white and black. Instead of yellow, and the eyes shaped different. Which leads to my curiosity, if it may be a different species possibly.
Signature: By the person/ individual who is willing to kindly help answer my question 😉

Bot Fly

Bot Fly

Dear person/individual,
This is a Rodent Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra, and members of the genus are often very host specific.  Rodent Bot Flies are external parasites on mice, squirrels and rabbits.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination