Currently viewing the category: "Snipe Flies"
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Subject: what is this???
Location: West Virginia
June 9, 2015 4:14 am
Heard and saw this on my back porch last night about 3 am. Thought it was a beetle before it landed. I thought it might be a horsey of some kind but ill let you be the judge of that.
Signature: Ed

Gold Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Dear Ed,
Each year in June, we get several images of Golden Backed Snipe Flies, and most come from Ohio and Pennsylvania, across the border from you.

Sue Dougherty liked this post
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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.

Heather Duggan-Christensen, Sue Dougherty liked this post
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Subject: An Elegant looking fly
Location: Andover, NJ
June 1, 2015 4:50 pm
I spotted this insect which I believe is some sort of fly on my storm door over the weekend. It is near what appears to be an exuvia, perhaps its own? The insect was between 1/2 and 3/4 inch in length with very striking wing patterns. Not a great shot, but hopefully shows enough detail for an ID.
Your help is always most appreciated!
Signature: Deborah E. Bifulco

Snipe Fly

Common Snipe Fly

Dear Deborah,
Flies do not emerge from exuvia, a term that usually applies to the shed skin of a nymph.  The only insects that have wings on the exuvia are Mayflies, which have an initial molt into a winged subadult, quickly followed by a second molt.  Flies emerge from puparia.  We believe what you have mistaken for an exuvia is a dead insect, but we are unsure which insect.  We quickly identified your Common Snipe Fly as
Rhagio mystaceus, which as luck would have it, was one of the first images we found on BugGuide when attempting the identification.  There is no real information on BugGuide, and the information on iNaturalist is limited to the physical description.

Thank you very much for the ID, as well as the great info re the exuvia.  It makes more sense that it is a dead insect, especially with the wings.  I should have known that!
Debbi

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Subject: Unknown fly from western MD
Location: Western Maryland
May 30, 2013 2:36 am
Hi Bugman,
Another query for you. This one I’m fairly sure is a fly, at least. I looked through the fly pages, but couldn’t find anything that looked similar.
Photo was taken 5/26/13 in Swallow Falls State Park in western Maryland, in a forested area about 100 yards away from the river. Subject was about the size of a regular house fly. Apologies for the lack of detail, picture taken with iphone.
Signature: long time reader, first time caller

Snipe Fly

Snipe Fly

Dear long time reader,
We believe this is a Snipe Fly.  You can compare your image to the Common Snipe Fly,
Rhagio mystaceus, photos on BugGuide.  There isn’t much species information posted, but the data page shows most sightings in May and June.  The family page on BugGuide states:  “Both adults and larvae are predaceous on a variety of small insects.”   

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Subject: Unknown PA flies
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2012 8:51 am
So there are these flies in the back yard and we can’t figure out what they are. They look a bit like deer flies, but have this really bright yellow gold furry thorax. Then we found two engaged in — um — adult activities and it looks like the males and females have different coloring. They are about 3/4 inch long. Any idea what kind of flies these are? Thanks!
Signature: Jeff

Mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies

Hi Jeff,
Your photograph is of mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies,
Chrysopilus thoracicus, and each spring we get a few identification requests and they are often of mating pairs.  According to BugGuide:  “Life Cycle Details unknown. This fly is observed in early to mid-spring perched quietly on low vegetation in deciduous woodlands.”

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Yellow spotted fly
Location: Biggsville, Il.
June 9, 2011 10:06 am
Yesterday I saw what I believe to be a fly in the shade garden. It had one bright yellow spot on it.
Signature: Randy

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Hi Randy,
Each June we get several identification requests for Golden Backed Snipe Flies from the northern states in the midwest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination