Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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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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Subject: a bee I can’t identify
Location: San Diego, CA
January 5, 2015 4:34 pm
while I was at work on a job site here in Chula Vista, CA (San Diego county) my Co worker pulled up in his work van and I noticed what looked like a bee in the door crack. I really took notice when I was trying to see what kind of bee it was and it’s eyes were a metallic gold with black stripes. I got the best picture of it I could have. the pictures doesn’t capture the metallic of they eyes but you can see how they are striped. I Googled like crazy looking for this insect and started to think I found a new bee. please help me identify this as I have never seen anything like it before. thanks
Signature: Miguel

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Hi Miguel,
This is not a Bee.  It is a Fly in the family Syrphidae, and the members of the family are called Hover Flies or Flower Flies.  Many Hover Flies mimic bees and wasps as a means of protection.  Masquerading as a stinging insect is beneficial for the harmless fly.  We believe your Hover Fly is
Eristalinus taeniops, a species that is “A widespread Old World species introduced to California” according to BugGuide.

Thank you so much for clarifying this I kinda had a feeling it might have been a fly because when I poke it with a stick it really didn’t move or seem aggressive.

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Subject: bee indentification
Location: west bengal, india
December 24, 2014 9:57 am
i would love to know which bee it is. it looks like a mutated form of bee.regards.
Signature: sreeradha seth

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Dear Sreeradha Seth,
This is not a bee, but rather a fly in the family Syrphidae that is mimicking a bee.  Commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies, members of the family Syrphidae do not sting.  Your individual looks very similar to this Flower Fly from India we posted in the spring.  We were not successful with an identification to the species or genus level.

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Thank you very much for identifying the bug. It was very helpful.
Regards,Sreeradha Seth

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Subject: large shiny black fly
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
December 22, 2014 10:42 pm
This fly is larger than a large housefly and is conspicuously hairless compared to a housefly. It is jet black and has interesting colored patches on its wings.
Signature: Dirk

Mexican Cactus Fly

Mexican Cactus Fly

Dear Dirk,
This is a wonderful image of an impressive fly in the family Syrphidae, commonly called a Mexican Cactus Fly,
Copestylum mexicanum.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on rotting cactus” and adults are frequently seen visiting flowers. 

Thank you, Daniel!  It somehow makes a big difference to the enjoyment of an image to know who the subject is.  Dirk

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Subject: SO curious…

Location: Santa Cruz, Ca.
November 10, 2014 12:46 am
I found this insect drinking nectar with the honey bees in my garden. While my husband cannot see a difference between it and the bees, I see several differences. (If even sounds different when it flies.) It was spotted in Santa Cruz, California in early November. Please enlighten me!
Signature: Amber

Drone Fly (left) with Honey Bee

Drone Fly (left) with Honey Bee

Dear Amber,
You are quite observant.  We especially like your image of the Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax, with the Honey Bee it mimics in the background.  Drone Flies are in the family Syrphidae and they do not bite nor sting.  See BugGuide for an excellent comparison image.

Drone Fly

Drone Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination