What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

photos – Small Purple Headed Fly – Lasia Purpurata
I was tickled to run across your webpage today and see someone else took a photo of the Lasia Purpurata. I too photographed this bug last year. It was identified for me by Dr. Jeffrey Barnes at the University of Arkansas in June of 05. I have been looking ever since then for other photos, the first time I “Googled” this bug after learning it’s prpoer name, there were only four text pages with very scant information and no web photos at all. I have quite a few good pictures and also movie, here are three of my photos if you would like to add/ use them on your web page. I attached some of my correspondence from Dr. Barnes and a local nature center. Thank you,
Julie Lansdale
Collierville Tn

Thu, 23 Jun 2005
Hummer-bug photo
Here is the Hummer-bug photo we discussed by phone today. I appreciate any help you can provide in it’s identification. I was in the Mountain Home Ark area last Saturday when I took this photo. (Actually, I have several more photos at home and also a short movie clip in Quicktime if you want more, let me know) While it was gathering nectar I was able to get quite close. It moved front to back and side to side similar to a hummingbird but it’s body is only as big as a bumblebee. Hard to tell in this photo since I cropped and enlarged for a close-up.
Thanks for your help,
Julie Lansdale

What an exciting find! This is Lasia purpurata, a fly in the family Acroceridae. The larvae of this species are parasites of tarantulas. Adults, as you have observed, are nectar feeders. This is not a commonly observed insect. I wonder if you would be willing to email me, as an attachment, a high resolution copy (say 4X4 at 300 dpi) of this photo and permission to use it in our museum website and perhaps a future field guide to Arkansas insects?
Jeff Barnes
Dr. Jeffrey K. Barnes, Curator
The Arthropod Museum
Department of Entomology
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR

Hi Julie,
Thank you so much for sending your photos in to our site. They are stunning. Congratulations on taking such wonderful shots of a rarely seen species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Tennessee

2 Responses to Small Purple Headed Fly

  1. Ryan says:

    Would a Lasia Purpurata (perhaps) in Arkansas have B shaped wings translucent& veined with one b much larger than the other? Reflective dark metallic blue, elephant-like trunk, B shaped wings? I thought it was a beetle or weevil it was so lazy & crawled & stood still mostly just flying short distances. Hardly energetic enough for a fly, perhaps it was dying. It didn’t seem to care about me being a foot away from it snapping pictures(I’ve never seen anything so odd, and I thought I knew a little about what’s outside in Arkansas). This ‘lasia purpurata’ is the closest thing I’ve found to what I saw & unfortunately the phone the pictures were on was stolen. I will attempt to spot another someday. I just seriously am having issues with the odd details missing, the small headed fly is nothing special to me, it was the intricate shape & design of the wings I was interested in perhaps someone can help? 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *