Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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Subject: Insect Id
Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Northeast Ohio
June 30, 2015 12:58 pm
Ok, folks, this isn’t the best image I’ve ever taken, but I still like it.
My only problem is that I have no idea what it is !!!
At first I thought it was a species of wasp; then, after some research, I thought it was some sort of Hover Fly, but it’s WAY too big for that…a GOOD inch to inch and a half in length; recently, I saw an image of a Cicada Killer that was similar, but…ONLY similar.
I’ve only seen one other just like it (and to be truthful, it may very well have been the same one…it flew past me in the exact same place the next summer.
I saw it near the Park Headquarters in The Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Northeast Ohio.
If anyone can help me with an Id I would appreciate it; I’ve been looking for it for close to 30 years.
Signature: Mike Davis-Mick’s Pix Photos

Hover Fly:  Good News Bee

Hover Fly: Good News Bee

Dear Mike,
You initially discounted that this was a Hover Fly because of its size, but it is in fact a Hover Fly,
Milesia virginiensis, a species commonly called a Yellow Jacket Hover Fly or Good News Bee.  According to the Bug Eric blog:  “At 18-28.5 millimeters in body length, and brightly colored in yellow, brown, and black, this fly could easily be mistaken for a European Hornet or queen yellowjacket. The ominous droning buzz it makes only heightens the visual mimicry. Some speculate that this species mimics the Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa. Indeed, Southern Yellowjackets were also active in the area, but the workers are substantially smaller than this fly. It is too early for the yellowjacket queens to be appearing, but they make for a better ‘model’ in both size and color pattern.  Milesia virginiensis figures in American folklore and superstition. It is still known in many hamlets as the ‘News Bee,’ for it will sometimes hover in front of a person, as if it were ‘giving them the news.’ It is also considered to be good luck if one of these flies alights on your finger. I was surprised that this particular individual allowed me a very close approach, so maybe it is not out of the realm of possibility than one of these insects could perch on a patient person.”

Thank you very much, Daniel. Very informative !! And, with your permission, I’d like to attach your answer to the image in my Fine Art America, and FB sites
Mike Davis

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Subject: wasp or bee or something else??
Location: rochdale england
June 26, 2015 6:39 am
never seen one of these…cant find any pictures on the web!! what is it please??
Signature: gary b

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Gary,
This looks to us like some species of Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and we discovered a British Hoverflies site.  The closest match we could find on the site is a member of the genus
Eristalis, but nothing looks exactly right.  If you find a closer match, please let us know so we can correct the posting.

Update:  July 4, 2015
We received a comment that Volucella pellucens was a good match, and this image on the British Hoverflies site supports that possibility.

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Subject: Loving Bee Flies
Location: Andover, NJ
May 27, 2015 12:36 pm
Hoping you can narrow down an id on these bee mimics. I’m in northwestern NJ and have been seeing these around my garden for the last few weeks. This pair was making a very loud buzzing sound and stayed joined for at least 5 minutes before separating and buzzing off. At one point I eased them off the steps and onto a leaf, then transferred them to some flowers, hoping to get a better camera angle. I am thinking they are some sort of hoverfly?
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Mating Narcissus Bulb Flies

Mating Narcissus Bulb Flies

Dear Deborah,
We believe these are mating Narcissus Bulb Flies,
Merodon equestris, which are in the Hover Fly family Syrphidae, not the Bee Fly family Bombyliidae, though we may be wrong.  You can verify our identification by comparing your images to those posted to BugGuide.

Thanks, Daniel!  As always, you’ve been a great help.
Debbi

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Subject: Fuzzy Fly? on Eschscholtzia in garden
Location: Pleasanton, CA
April 15, 2015 7:28 pm
I would appreciate it if you could help identify this insect. It looks like an orange, fuzzy fly, about the size of a small bumblebee. It was visiting my garden in early April, and though I have looked for it many days since, that first day was the only time I’ve seen it.
Signature: R. Battaglia

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Dear R. Battaglia,
Your request has been sitting on our back burner since we first read it, because we recognized this fly, but we couldn’t remember its name.  Today it hit us.  This is a male Narcissus Bulb Fly,
Merodon equestris, a member of the generally considered beneficial family Syrphidae, the Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  According to BugGuide it is:  “native to Europe, adventive and now widespread in North America (wherever Narcissus are grown), Japan, and Australasia Food Larvae live in and feed upon plant bulbs.”  Your individual looks exactly like this image posted to BugGuide.

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Subject: Bee? Fly? Friend or Foe?
Location: TN
February 27, 2015 8:47 am
I’m hoping someone can help me identify this bug. I’ve found 3 of them thus far. They appear to have been created in my large pot of amaryllis that I drag indoors and outdoors each year. Last fall, I quit watering the large pot and stored it in cool, darkish conditions (unheated garage) for about 4 months. After moving it to a warm sunny location – these gentle creatures are making their appearance. Google hasnt helped. Thanks for any information you can share!
Signature: Green thumb – newbie apridarist

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Dear Green thumb-newbie apridarist,
This is a Narcissus Bulb Fly,
Merodon equestris, which we identified on BugGuide, and though they are generally associated with daffodil and narcissus bulbs,  according to the North Carolina State University Insect and Related Pests of Flowers and Foliage Plants site:  “Distribution -The narcissus bulb fly occurs wherever narcissus are grown throughout the United States. This pest was introduced from Europe in about 1869.  Host Plants -The narcissus bulb fly has been reported to infest amaryllis, daffodil, Galtonia, Flanthus, hyacinth, Iris, lilies, Leucofum, Narcissus, Scilla, tulips, and Vallota.  Damage -The center of the bulb is hollowed out and the flower bud is destroyed. Many infested bulbs rot away although some survive to send up a few scrawny grasslike blades the following year.”

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

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Subject: Tiny Bee With A Big Head
Location: Silver Lake (Los Angeles)
February 23, 2015 9:54 pm
Hi Daniel,
This morning, I was shooting a photo of wild radish on the Red Car Property in Silver Lake, above the historic viaduct footings. While editing, I noticed I captured one frame of this tiny bee with a very strangely shaped, almost mod head. Sorry I couldn’t get a better shot – it was with my phone. I’ve often caught the incidental bug in close-ups, but this is a new one for me.
http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/
Signature: Diane E

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Hi Diane,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  Many members of the family mimic bees or wasps as it is beneficial for harmless insects to be mistaken for stinging insects.  Is there any progress on the preservation attempts of the Red Car Property?

Cool.  Thought it was weird.
TPL still has exclusive option on the property.  It’s wonderful to walk right now.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination