Black and yellow bug
Location: Willis, Texas
August 2, 2010 6:48 pm
Beginning of August. Very hot. 50 miles north of Houston, Texas. This bug flew into our garage and my wife swatted it.
This is a Yellowjacket Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis. It is one of the Syrphid Flies in the family Syrphidae, commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies. Many species in the family mimic bees and wasps. The adult Yellowjacket Hover Fly feeds on nectar and pollen from plants like Queen Anne’s Lace, and it will also be attracted to the blooms of related plants in the garden like parsley, dill and carrots. You may read more about the Yellowjacket Hover Fly on BugGuide, including this tidbit gleaned from AllExperts.com: “Flies aggressively and buzzes like a hornet. In the southern United States, sometimes called the news bee or good news bee for its habit of hovering in front of a person and ‘giving them the news’. It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do.“ There is no mention of swatting a Yellowjacket Hover Fly to bring good luck. The Yellowjacket Hover Fly is a benign insect that will not bite nor sting. People often react to loudly buzzing insects by swatting them, and it is part of our mission to educate the public because many beneficial and benign insects are killed unnecessarily just because they are frightening looking and the person feels threatened, so we are archiving your letter and image in our Unnecessary Carnage section.