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

Subject: Unknown fling ?
Location: Winona area of Arkansas
June 8, 2015 8:03 am
We came across this feeding on butterfly weed and cannot identify. Can you help us.
Signature: Lon and Annie

Small Headed Fly

Purple Small Headed Fly

Dear Lon and Annie,
This is a very exciting posting for us.  Though it appears green, this is is known as a Purple Small Headed Fly,
Lasia purpurata, and it is only the third submission we have received of this species since we went online in the late 1990s, and the last submission was nine years ago.  All three submissions of Purple Small Headed Flies are nectaring on the same blossoms and all are from Arkansas.  Of the 2006 sighting by Julie Lansdale, Dr. Jeffrey K. Barnes, Curator of The Arthropod Museum in the Department of Entomology of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville wrote:  “What an exciting find! This is Lasia purpurata, a fly in the family Acroceridae. The larvae of this species are parasites of tarantulas. Adults, as you have observed, are nectar feeders. This is not a commonly observed insect.”  There is also an image posted to the University of Arkansas website where it states:  “In 1933, Harvard University entomologist Joseph Bequaert described Lasia purpurata from a large, pilose, metallic blue fly with strong purple reflections that was collected in Oklahoma. Adults are often found feeding on nectar with their long proboscides inserted in flowers of butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa. This species is now known to occur also in Arkansas and Texas. While little is known of the biology of this particular species, we do have some understanding of general family biology. Larvae of all biologically known species are internal parasitoids of spiders. Large numbers of eggs are deposited in the vicinity of host spiders. Most species have planidium-like first instar larvae, that is to say they are strongly sclerotized and have spine-like locomotory processes. These young larvae are capable of crawling and jumping in search of spider hosts. Upon finding hosts they burrow though the integument and migrate to the spiders’ book lungs, where they can breathe outside air as they remain in diapause for several months to several years. Larvae of the subfamily Panopinae, to which Lasia belongs, have long second stadia and 4-5 day third stadia. In 1958, William Baerg, retired head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Arkansas and world renowned tarantula expert, reported that acrocerid flies, probably Lasia purpurata, sometimes attack Arkansas tarantulas. Female tarantulas produced 4-6 of these dipterous parasites. The parasites emerged from the tarantulas’ book lungs as larvae, and the tarantulas soon died. At Pea Ridge, most tarantulas appeared to be infested. The parasites emerged from mid April to mid May.”

Small Headed Fly

Small Headed Fly

Thank you for this information. we were stumped. My Granddaughter, Annie, age 12, and I, age 74, are very excited that this is only the third submission you have received for the Purple Small Headed Fly. Please keep up the good work that you do. This is the best use of the social media we are surrounded with today.
God bless you.
Lon Freeman

That is very kind of you to say Lon.  Back in the late 1990s when we were approached to write a column for the now defunct American Homebody, we defended our decision to write a column on insect identification because we maintained that “Everybody wants to know ‘What’s That Bug?'” but we never dreamed how accurate that statement would actually prove to be.  We really do have a strong network of regular readers and contributors.  We are very envious at your sighting of the Purple Small Headed Fly because they are apparently quite rare.

Small Headed Fly

Small Headed Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Morphing Pods
Location: John Bryan State Park – Yellow Springs, OH
June 7, 2015 9:06 am
I live in Ohio and was walking through the woods on May 17th. We were down by the creek and on the over hanging rocks we found these strange pods. Some looked like they could be scale bugs but as we examined more we could see the cycle unfold. The pale off white dripping pods eventually turned into so sort of flying insect. Could you shed any light on what sort of creatures they could be?
Thank you!
Signature: Curious Naturalist

Mystery Insects

Mystery Insects may be Fungus Infection

Dear Curious Naturalist,
We wish you had better quality images.  We do not know what is going on here, but it appears there are several different species of insects along with what you are calling “Morphing Pods”, and we have not been able to find anything similar looking online.  The larger white bodies insects with dark markings and wings do not look familiar to us, but hopefully one of our readers will be able to provide some information.  Can you provide any additional information regarding the size of the things in question?

Mystery

Fungus Infection

Mystery

Fungus Infection

I am sorry about the quality I only had my phone on my at the time. They were no bigger than a small fingernail. It was almost as if they were globs sprouting wings, then eyes and so on. At first I thought it was the early life cycle of another insect I had seen but I am an amateur and can not tell if they are similar enough. here is what I thought they MIGHT turn into.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this mystery.

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Thanks for the additional information.  The new image you provided is a Golden Backed Snipe Fly and we don’t believe it has any connection to the pods you observed.

Eric Eaton confirms our own suspicion
Daniel:
I’m thinking the “cycle” is the other way around.  It looks clear to me that these are midges that have become infected with some kind of entomopathic fungus.  This is certainly well-documented in other flies, but I haven’t seen a group effect like this before.
Eric

Thanks so much Eric,
We had pondered the possibility that this might be a fungus.  Thanks for the confirmation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying brown bug
Location: Lees summit, Missouri
June 4, 2015 10:25 pm
Hello, found this guy on my lap as I entered my car. He came along for the ride till I stopped then flew away. Looks a bit like a horse fly.
Regards.
Signature: Yanik

Stinkfliege

Stinkfliege

Dear Yanik,
We are very excited to post your images of a Stinkfliege,
Coenomyia ferruginea, a fly in the family Xylophagidae, as we have but one other example on our site and your images are far superior.  Alas, there is not much information on BugGuide, but according to the translation of Insektenbox:  “Larvae live on detritus (dead vegetable matter, sludge).”  According to the translation of Insekten, the family are called Wood Flies.

Stinkfliege

Stinkfliege

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What am I?
Location: Pennsylvania
June 5, 2015 10:13 pm
Can’t seem to find what this guy is.
Signature: Heather Cookson

Mystery Thing

Horse Fly Egg Mass

Dear Heather,
Your mystery thing has us quite stumped.  It does not look like an insect, but it appears that it might have been produced by an insect.  We do not believe this is an egg mass, but it might be some type of shelter.  The “scales” look somewhat like seeds.  Could you please provide more details on where it was found and regarding its size.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to contribute some valuable information.

Update:  Horse Fly Egg Mass
Immediately after posting, we received a comment identifying this as a Tabanid or Horse Fly Egg Mass, and a link to BugGuide.  Mystery solved thanks to a diligent reader. 

Eric Eaton Confirms
Hi, Daniel:
That is a batch of horse fly or deer fly eggs.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Bug
Location: Toledo, Ohio
June 4, 2015 5:22 pm
It’s that time of year again where I love to visit your page because I find so many new bugs. I love bugs, but honestly, I hope this one never lands on me as it was HUGE. (Unless I find out it doesn’t sting. ) It was hanging out in an open field in Northwest Ohio with butterflies and other bees. Any idea what it is? I’ve never seen anything like it.
Thank you!
Signature: Ginny

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Dear Ginny,
This is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus
Laphria, but we cannot be certain which species you sighted.  You can find additional information on BugGuide.

Thank you!  You know, I actually looked up Robber Fly, but didn’t see anything that looked like it.  I will do further looking.  Thanks so much!!
…ginny

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this
Location: south carolina
June 4, 2015 7:10 am
I found these in my dogs water bowl. I thought they were tadpoles until I took a closer look. Any ideas?
Signature: megan

Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito Larvae

Hi Megan,
Out of curiosity, how often do you change your dog’s water?  These are Mosquito Larvae and they are generally found in stagnant water.

I normally change it daily, but last week was crazy and I missed a couple of days…never again. Thank you for letting me know what they are. They have been in a jar for 3 days (and are now disposed of).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination