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

Subject: bug found on house
Location: Jacksonville, North Carolina
August 22, 2013 3:07 pm
I found this ant looking bug on my house the other day, and have no clue what type it is. I’ve tried looking on various websites and haven’t found anything. It looked like a large ant with what I’m pretty sure are wings.
Signature: S. Andersen

Stilt Legged Fly

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear S. Anderson,
This appears to be a Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Odd little flies, known for their displaying (?) behavior of walking around and lifting their prominently marked front legs. Abdomen attached to thorax by “wasp-waist”. Likely ant or wasp mimics. The posture of the forelegs may imitate ant and/or wasp antennae and provide them with some protection from predators.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small Insect, Red Eyes
Location: Singapore
February 2, 2013 10:37 pm
Hi there, I found this very minute bug roaming around the rotting stump of a fallen tree. This one is quite lighter in color than the other bugs similar to it. It has those pair of big red eyes. I’m not sure what this is really as it does not seem to be a fly (or could be)? Anyway, hope you guys could identify this one as closely as possible. Oh, sometimes it would wave its two front legs in a movement as if cleaning some sticky debris off its limbs.
Thanks!
Signature: Giovanni

Cactus Fly

Hi Giovanni,
This is in fact a Fly in the family Neriidae which are commonly called Cactus Flies because the “larvae are decomposers of cactus” according to BugGuide.  It might be a Banana Stalk Fly,
Telostylinus lineolatus.  The family is sometimes referred to as Stilt Legged Flies as well, though that name can also refer to the members of the closely related family Micropezidae.  According to the Evolutionary Biology Lab:  “Neriidae is a relatively small family of true flies (Diptera) with long, stilt-like legs. Most species are found in the tropics. Neriids have very interesting behaviours, and many species are strikingly sexually dimorphic, with males having much longer legs, heads and/or antennae than females. Like piophilid flies, neriid larvae have the ability to leap during the stage just before pupation when they migrate from the larval feeding substrate to the pupation site. Very little research has been done on this interesting group of flies.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

6 legged flying insect
Location: Florida
December 21, 2011 11:47 am
This bug has been hanging out in my office for months now. Instead of killing him we have actually made friends haha. I have literally petted this guy. He will land of me and just sit there for a while also. It has 6 legs. The front 2 he actually uses as antennas to feel around and he constantly ”washes his hands” rubbing the front 2 legs together. He can fly but likes to walk around mostly. Front 2 legs have white on the bottoms but the others are solid brown. His mouth kinda looks like an ant’s. He has never bitten me.
Signature: I don’t care

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear I don’t care,
Though your photo is extremely blurry, we are confident that we have identified your insect on BugGuide as a Stilt Legged Fly,
Grallipeza nebulosa, based on its coloration, your location and the behavior you describe.

Yep, that is the bug.  Thank you.  It was driving me crazy not knowing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Special Mosquitos?
Location: Palolo Valley, Honolulu, HI
December 16, 2010 5:39 pm
Found these two getting busy on the shoe rack this morning… I hope they don’t recognize and remember faces for an attack later on when they’re done… Are these special mosquitoes or something? They sure don’t look like a regular Mosquito!
Signature: TH

Mating Banana Stalk Flies

Dear TH,
Wow, what an awesome photo you have sent to us.  We have no idea where to begin researching the identity of these unusual looking mating Flies, but we can assure you that they are not mosquitoes.  Like so many other creatures in Hawaii, we suspect these might be an introduced species, possibly from Asia.

Immediate Update
We quickly found a match for your mating Flies.  They are identified on BugGuide as Banana Stalk Flies, Telostylinus lineolatus, in the family Neriidae, the Stilt Legged FliesThe Cook Islands Biodiversity website has a page devoted to the Banana Stalk Fly, and they list the other common names Banana Fly, Push-me-Pull-me Fly and Push-pull Fly.  The range is listed as “Sri Lanka – Indonesia / Australia – Marquesas, Hawai‘i” and it is considered a pest species, but the site does not indicate why.  The Rainforest Revelations website has this information:  “With enormous eyes, this tiny, tropical, stilt-legged fly maintains a confident distance from human approach, by swiftly running around the blind-side of whatever surface it is on.  … Telostylinus lineolatus inhabits tropical north Queensland, where it aggregates on flowers and rotting fruit.  They are members of Neriidae, which is a relatively small family of true flies (Diptera) with long, stilt-like legs.”  The Evolutionary Biology Lab Research website has this information on the family:  “Neriidae is a relatively small family of true flies (Diptera) with long, stilt-like legs. Most species are found in the tropics. Neriids have very interesting behaviours, and many species are strikingly sexually dimorphic, with males having much longer legs, heads and/or antennae than females. Like piophilid flies, neriid larvae have the ability to leap during the stage just before pupation when they migrate from the larval feeding substrate to the pupation site. Very little research has been done on this interesting group of flies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

is This an Ant?
June 4, 2010
I found this ant outside on my wall then he flew to a chair, I’m located in Central Florida, Polk County USA..
I’m not sure if its an ant or other type fo bug any help would be appreciated… thanks :)
Thanks Dee
Florida Usa

Stilt Legged Fly

Hi Dee,
This is a Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  According to BugGuide, they are “Odd little flies, known for their displaying (?) behavior of walking around and lifting their prominently marked front legs. Abdomen attached to thorax by “wasp-waist”. Likely ant or wasp mimics. The posture of the forelegs may imitate ant and/or wasp antennae and provide them with some protection from predators (speculation–Cotinis).
”  We will leave species or genus identification for an expert in the field.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Flying At or Wasp?
January 19, 2010
Hi,
I live in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The other night I woke up and found several large bites on my chest. I was thinking bedbugs but my girlfriend has no bites. Its happened to me several times. The difference is I sleep on top of the covers and she usually is bundled up under. So Im thinking that might rule out bedbugs. Then this morning we found this bug in the bedroom. What is it and can it be the culprit thats biting me? The bites first feel like acid on my skin and stings real bad then they becomes very itchy. Thanks for your help.
Eric Stone
Crown Mountain, St. Thomas, USVI

Stilt Legged Fly, a victim of mistaken identity

Hi Eric,
It is not our mission to demonize our readership, but rather to educate, which is why we are tagging your letter as Unnecessary Carnage.  This is a Harmless Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  It did not bite you, so that culprit is still awaiting identification.  Stilt Legged Flies are noteworthy for the manner in which they wave about their prominently marked front legs as though they were trying to signal something.

Thanks Daniel,
I appreciate the info.  I will let my friends know on Facebook what the fly is and tell them to be kind to it. I will also add a link to my website to yours and let people know that you guys have the answers. Mahalo!
Thanks, Eric Stone

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination