Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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Subject: Masonry Bee?
Location: London, South East England.
April 11, 2014 1:15 pm
Hi! I would just like some clarification please! We noticed today that we had what appear to be bees flying in and out of a hole in the wall on our flat. We’ve lived here for years & it’s the first year we’ve noticed it. We’ve done googling and suspect them (it?) to be Masonry Bees but would love clarification as we’re both wimps when it comes to flying stinging things and would love to know where we stand for our own sakes but also that of the cats who seem to think the hole provides them with flying toys! And we obviously don’t want either to get hurt. It doesn’t look quite right for a masonry bee but doesn’t look like honey bees / bumble bees / hornets etc so we turn to your expertise! Thank you!
Signature: Tofu K

Drone Fly

Drone Fly

Dear Tofu K,
This is a harmless Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax, and we were puzzled by your observations that is was “flying in and out of a hole in the wall,” and we learned something very interesting on Nature Spot where it states they can be observed:  “Virtually all year round. The female hibernates in buildings and crevices but will emerge on warm days in late winter, leading to it being seen in virtually every month of the year.”  Larval Drone Flies are known as Rat-Tailed Maggots.  More information is available on UK Safari.

Daniel,
Thank you for your prompt reply! I was expecting to wait a little while as the websites state you may have to.
Thank you for putting our minds at ease! I was concerned it was some beastly giant buzzing bee we were going to have to live with! And very “pleased” that they sometimes mimic bees – it means we’re not going completely crazy!
Glad you learnt something new about them too!

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Subject: Weird toilet worm
Location: SOUTH AFRICA
April 6, 2014 6:37 am
Hi, i found this worm in the toilet this morning. it has a long black tail or flagellum or something. 2 eyes, its covering is transparent and you can see all its insides move around when it moves. It reminds me of the micro-organism paramecium.
its still alive, want to keep it that way until i find out what it is..AZ
Signature: LETITIA

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Rattailed Maggot

Dear Letitia,
This is a Rattailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly.  It is harmless, and we suspect it traveled through the sewage pipes to get into your toilet, but we would not rule out it entering through the fresh water taps.  Back in 2006, we reported on Rattailed Maggots entering homes in Capetown through the potable water pipes.

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Subject: Please help me identify this bug
Location: Needham, Ma
April 5, 2014 8:41 pm
Dear Bugman,
Could you please help me identify this bug, I thought it was a wasp, but someone commented that it is a hoverfly. I am very grateful if you have the time to help me. I am identifying it for my involvement in Project Noah.
Sincerely,
Signature: Cynthia West

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Cynthia,
This is indeed a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, but mistaking it for a wasp is understandable as many Hover Fly species mimic stinging insects like wasps and flies.  We believe this might be
Helophilus fasciatus based on photos posted to BugGuide.  Additionally it is a species that appears early in the spring.   Was your photo really taken this spring?  We thought it might be too early to have flowers blooming this spring as the winter was so severe.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick response! I appreciate it very much. The photo was taken last fall, October 2013 in Massachusetts. I had never heard of a Hover fly before so I guess I have learned something new and exciting! I can now rename it a Hover fly on my Project Noah page. I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!
Cynthia

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Subject: What is this bug
Location: hyderabad [India]
March 13, 2014 1:43 am
looks like a bee but not sure… Thus this question
Signature: regards

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

This is one of the Flower Flies or Hover Flies in the family Syrphidae, and many members of the family mimic bees and wasps.  Syrphid Flies are perfectly harmless, but they gain protection through mimicry of stinging insects.

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Subject: Another Dead Head Fly (this time in Cyprus)
Location: Nicosia (Leftkoşa), Cyprus
February 16, 2014 6:26 pm
Because it’s that time of the year again when Cyprus explodes with life I thought I’d go through my pics from last February. Imagine my surprise to find another Dead Head fly which I actually captured with the camera before the ones I’ve already sent in from Porto and London?
I do remember this one was very camera shy but I did not know what kind of bug it was at the time as I didn’t even realize there were so many different and amazing flies then. It was also the only one of this type I saw while there even though the island was covered to bursting with life. So sadly the pics are not the best but I do have several better photos of other bugs coming soon.
Anyway, thought it would be cool to start off with one of the flies because they can be so pretty and many of them are actually very beneficial (heck, even the flesh flies and bottle flies break down waste while also being pollinators) with some of the hover flies even eating aphids when in their larval stage.
Hope you are enjoying the “slow” season.
Signature: Curious Girl

Dead Head Fly

Dead Head Fly

Dear Curious Girl,
Thank you for supplying us with an image of this interesting Flower Fly or Hover Fly from the family Syrphidae that had thoracic markings that resemble a human skull.  This nicely compliments your images of Dead Head Flies from London and Portugal.

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Subject: Fly
Location: Cambridge
February 11, 2014 1:21 am
Seen yesterday. It was as long as a bluebottle blowfly, but slenderer in the body (the abdomen tapered to a small tip). A strong and active flyer. There were 2 particularly distinctive things about it; (1) it had white ‘toes’ (the 2 flat lobes at the end of each leg), and (2) it often ‘whined’ while sitting at rest (the whine was very similar to the sound a mason wasp makes when building its mud nest). It reminded me of the kelp flies that used to occasionally swarm in vast numbers against the house windows at night (near the coast), only it was bigger. The top of its thorax and its head looked like a 3-lined hoverfly, but it had a different body shape.
Chris
Signature: Chris

Fly

Fly

which cambridge?  UK or Massachusetts or other?

New Zealand mate.  I hastily sent the message before I realised it was a USA-based website (I thought it was NZ).
Cheers,    Chris

Thanks for the clarification Chris.  Though our offices are based in Los Angeles, California, we do consider ourselves to be a global reference source for “bugs” from around the world.  We are posting your submission as unidentified while we continue to research the identity of your fly.

Karl provides some research:  March 20, 2014
Hi Daniel and Chris:
I looks like a Striped Flower Fly (Orthoprosopa bilineata); Family Syrphidae and Subfamily Eristalinae.  The site for the Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network (T.E.R:R.A.I.N) has several excellent images. The species is native to New Zealand and found nowhere else. Regards. Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination