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

Subject: Beautiful Honey Bee Mimic
Location: 30 miles West of Topeka, Kansas
October 21, 2016 10:24 pm
Hello,
I don’t need an I.D. For this Drone Fly. I just wanted to share a couple photos of this excellent faker.
It found me in N.E. Kansas, U.S.A., about the last week of September, 2016. Everybody I showed it to thought it was a honey bee.
Signature: Jeff from Kansas

Drone Fly

Drone Fly

Dear Jeff from Kansas,
This excellent Honey Bee mimic is a Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced in North America prior to 1874.”

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Subject: Tiger Bee?
Location: Hialeah Florida
October 1, 2016 8:20 pm
Oct. 1 I noted a bee that behaved differently from the usual honey bees I see. It spent a lot of time nectaring on a single lantana blossom, then flew only a few inches to the nearest blossom, and stayed on that one quite a while, too.
When I looked through the zoom lens I saw that it was definitely not a honey bee- with much larger eyes, a white ‘nose’, and no ‘hair’ on the back, which was striped instead of solid color, and it did not seem to be picking up pollen.
Is it perhaps some kind of leafcutter bee? It was very pretty and made me think of a tiger’s coloration.
Signature: Curious in Florida

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Curious in Florida,
This is not a Bee, but rather a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group that contains many members that mimic stinging bees and wasps for protection.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Palpada and according to BugGuide:  “Closely related to Eristalis but usually more colorful on the thorax and/or abdomen.”  While several species in the genus are found in Florida and look similar, we believe the closest visual match on BugGuide is Palpada vinetorum, and according to BugGuide:  “A robust syrphid, (typical of genus Palpada), yellowish-brown with gray bands on thorax. Legs reddish or yellowish, femora darker. Hind tibiae thick, arc-shaped. Wings slightly darkened.”

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity!
After I sent the ID request I wondered if perhaps it was a fly pretending to be a bee (I now have a mental image of flies dressing up as bees for Halloween and going around with tiny sacks to collect nectar). It sure looks like the Palpada vinetorum in the BugGuide pics. You are amazing. :^)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee / wasp id
Location: North Devon
September 9, 2016 9:13 am
Can you please tell me what this bee / wasp is
Signature: Any way

Hornet Hoverfly

Hornet Hoverfly

This is a Hornet Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria, and according to the South West Grid for Learning Trust:  “This species is one of the larger hoverflies. It is sometimes seen in the UK in the late summer and autumn feeding on the flowers of Ivy. Hoverflies often mimic species of wasp or in this case a hornet.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly
Location: My home in West Yorkshire UK
August 19, 2016 8:24 am
I found this fly in the house and only after “disposing” of it did I notice the white band around it’s body and the wing markings.. I’ve looked in my small book but found no record of it. I’m assuming it’s not a rarity but just wondered if you guys knew the species.
Thanks
Signature: Joe Lyman

Hover Fly

Great Pied HoverFly

Dear Joe,
This is a Hover Fly, , which we identified on British Hoverflies.  According to Nature Spot:  “Sometimes called the Pellucid Hoverfly, this is one of the largest flies in Britain. It has a striking ivory-white band across its middle and large dark spots on its wings.”  Nature Spot also states:  “Its larvae live in the nests of social wasps and bumblebees, eating waste products and the bee larvae.”  According to UK Safari:  “The Pellucid Hoverfly can be found in most wooded areas in the UK.  It’s shape and size are very bumblebee-like.  The name ‘pellucid’ literally means translucently clear, and if you catch this hoverfly in a certain light you can see right through its middle.  The other popular common name for this hoverfly is the ‘Great Pied Hoverfly’ on account of its black and white colouring. ”  According to Opal Westmidlands:  “
V. pellucens is by far the most common species of the genus and widely distributed across the UK.”

Great Pied Hoverfly

Great Pied Hoverfly

Wow… Cheers for a comprehensive identification..
Thanks and regards Joe

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Three Lined Hover fly
Location: Karori, Wellington, NZ
August 16, 2016 8:35 pm
Just photographed this fly inside my house, and looked up on the internet to find what it was. Will go and liberate it now that I know it is a “good” insect. Thought that you might like to see the photos.
Signature: Heuchan Hobbs

Threelined Hover Fly

Threelined Hover Fly

Dear Heuchan,
Thank you ever so much for sending your excellent images of a Threelined Hover Fly,
Helophilus seelandicus, to our site, especially since you did not require an identification.  We have but a single image of a Threelined Hover Fly in our archives, and it is a ventral view, which is not ideal for identification purposes.  Your dorsal views are marvelous.  According to Landcare Research:  “Attracts attention because of its noisy flight  Important pollinator of flowers  Larvae are rat tailed maggots which live in liquid containing rotting plants or animals.”  According to iNaturalist, it “is a native hoverfly of New Zealand. The name corresponds to the three black lines behind the insect’s head.”  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award since you captured and released.

Threelined Hover Fly

Threelined Hover Fly

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for your reply to my email re the Threelined Hover Fly.
I give you permission to use my photos, if you wish in your “What’s that bug” archives.
I have also included two extra images taken after I liberated the fly onto some retaining wall timber. I don’t know how long the fly stayed there, it was gone about 30 minutes after liberation. Didn’t stay “on watch”, was getting cold, late afternoon time.
Thanks again for your informative email,
Regards,
Heuchan

Three-LIned Hoverfly

Three-LIned Hoverfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Predation
Location: Andover, NJ
July 28, 2016 8:16 am
I was lurking around my butterfly garden this morning and happened to see this small wasp (Eumenine maybe?) subduing a large syrphid. Amazingly, the wasp took off with her prize with seemingly little effort!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Good Mornind Deborah,
What an amazing image.  This is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we believe that based on this image from BugGuide, that it is in the genus
Ectemnius.  According to BugGuide:  “most nest in decayed wood (logs, stumps), sometimes in sound wood; provision the nests with Diptera.”   The prey appears to be a Drone Fly.

Thanks so much, Daniel!  I was a bit off on my wasp ID, wasn’t I?  Even with multiple field guides, I still find it rather challenging to get the subfamily correct.  But it sure is fun trying!  I just wish our summers lasted longer – once winter comes, I’m lucky to find a shield bug.
Debbi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination