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

Subject: What’s happening here?
Location: Houston area, Texas
September 28, 2013 1:00 pm
I walked around these bugs in our river birch sapling for 10 minutes, trying to get my camera to focus on the right thing and also to figure out what was going on — if they were mating, or if one was getting eaten.
They were both about an inch and a half long. One appeared solid black with very hairy legs. The other, looking at the photo now, appears to be black and yellow.
Is the black one squeezing the other so hard it’s innards have come out?
They stayed where they were for about 5 minutes until I ventured too close, at which time the black one flew off, carrying the other one with it.
Signature: Jayne

Robber Fly eats Prey

Robber Fly eats Prey

Hi Jayne,
This is a nice photo for our Food Chain tag.  The predator is a Robber Fly, most likely a Bee Killer in the genus
Mallophora, possibly a Belzebul Bee Eater.  We cannot identify the prey from your photo, but it does not appear to be a bee or wasp which frequently fall prey to large Robber Flies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I think this is a big furry fly
Location: Colima, Mexico
September 24, 2013 8:13 pm
I found this fly (i think it is a fly) sitting on the patio table, late September 2013, not long after Tropical Storm Manual and Hurricane Ingrid slammed into southern Mexico at the same time, one from the Pacific and one from the Atlantic. It is not moving much. It has a thick, velvety coat with a white stripe horizontally across the top side of the lower thorax. I would say the body part (without wings) is about 2cm. I haven’t seen this bug before and would be interested to have an ID. The bit of white at the end of the thorax does not belong to the bug but is a bit of debris on the table. Thanks bugman
Signature: Beverly

Probably Tachinid Fly

Bee Fly

Hi Beverly,
We believe, but we are not certain, that this is some species of Tachinid Fly.  Members of the Tachinid Fly family are parasitic in the larval stage, and adults often take nectar from flowers.  Tachinids prey on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods, and caterpillars are probably the most common host insect.  See BugGuide for more information on Tachinid Flies.

Probably Tachinid Fly

BeeFly

Update and Correction:  January 11, 2014
We got a pretty confident correction from Stephen who agrees with the comment from James, so even though we cannot locate a link with a matching photo, we have correct the posting to read Bee Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pidgeon Horntail?
Location: Stone Mountain, GA
September 23, 2013 6:38 pm
Found this on the driveway. All of the pics that I have seen of this look similar but this is more cone shaped and the legs look furrier?
Signature: karen

What Killed the Red Footed Cannibalfly???

What Killed the Red Footed Cannibalfly???

Hi Karen,
This is a large, predatory Robber Fly, most likely a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  We can’t help but wonder why there is a severed leg in the upper left corner of the photo, so we are wondering What Killed the Red Footed Cannibalfly???  The Red Footed Cannibalfly is our featured Bug of the Month for September 2013.

September 27, 2013 3:09 pm
I am not sure what happened to the poor bug.. We found it on the driveway in that condition. Thanks for letting me know what it was, I didn’t think it was a pigeon horn tail….thanks again.
Signature: Karen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow Jacket
Location: Northern Mississippi
September 23, 2013 12:57 pm
Hello, I occasionally see these bee-like creatures flying on my back patio and they are not timid about coming near humans. They are about an inch long and their buzzing is rather loud. The closest bug I’ve been able to find that looks like these are Yellow Jacket Queens but the markings I’ve seen in photos are a little different. I live in northern Mississippi. This photo was taken on 9/23/2013. I’d like to know what type of bug I’m dealing with, they always like to show up too close for comfort when my 2-year old is outside playing and they make me nervous! Thank you
Signature: Melissa

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Melissa,
Despite its resemblance to stinging insects like a Yellow Jacket, this Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae will not sting nor bite your daughter.  It uses its protective mimicry to mask its own harmlessness.  Hover Flies are pollinators with predatory larvae that feed on Aphids and other insects.  This might be a Yellow Jacket Hover Fly,
Milesia virginiensis, also known as the Good News Bee.  We hope we have convinced you that you should allow this Hover Fly to share your yard.

Daniel,
Thank you so much!  I had no idea such a fly existed, I’ll definitely welcome these guys now that I know they are beneficial for my garden and harmless to humans :)
Melissa

Excellent.  We have succeeded in our mission to educate the public about the lower beasts and the interconnectivity of all life on our planet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber Fly?
Location: Linden, Virginia
September 21, 2013 8:37 pm
Could you please identify the fly in the attached photographs? I think it may be some type of robber fly. I saved this one from my dogs’ wading pool and later saw a similar fly eating a stink bug. It is well worth having these flies around if they prey on stink bugs! Thanks for looking!
Signature: Lynn

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Lynn,
Your family identification of this Robber Fly is correct.  More specifically it is a Red Footed Cannibalfly or Bee Panther, Promachus rufipes, and as you are aware, it is an impressive insect.  We are happy to hear they are preying upon the Stink Bugs in your vicinity, which we suspect are most likely the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs.  Because of your kindness in rescuing this Red Footed Cannibalfly, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Red Footed Cannibalfly.

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for identifying my fly.  He was very cool!  :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wtb
Location: san marcos tx
September 21, 2013 8:41 am
cant find anything like this in my books. hanging out by crepe myrtles. very small, half inch or less.
Signature: scott

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Hi Scott,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as
Ocyptamus fascipennis thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae prey on scale insects” which makes it a very beneficial insect in the garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination