Fly? Wasp?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
August 29, 2011 11:51 am
Hi, I think this is a fly but haven’t yet seen antennae like this. Can you help? Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry. (It’s yet another curious bug to land on the Sea Holly we planted earlier this spring.)
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Syrphid Fly

Goodness, Gracious Anna,
You are ground zero for Syrphid Fly diversity.  Syrphid Flies in the family Syrphidae are commonly called Hover Flies or Flower Flies.  Both names are descriptive.  It looks like it might be in the genus
Monoceromyia, as it shares so many physical traits with what the photographer calls the Mystery Mimic Fly, Monoceromyia floridensis, a Florida species that is pictured on BugGuide.

Flower Fly

Your Flower Fly really has interesting antennae.  It is also a magnificent wasp mimic with that thread waist.  We may wait until later to identify it to the species level, though we are pretty certain one very similar to it is already in our archives.


Location: California

One Response to Hover Fly

  1. Anna’s post here from Hawthorne, CA (which is just south of Inglewood, in the Los Angeles area…and not east of Fresno, as shown in the map above) is a conopid fly rather than a syrphid. The color pattern (in particular, the reddish and very narrowly-based “T” on the frons, and the pale facial grooves)…along with the location…indicate species Physocephala texana.

    Note that members of the syrphid tribe Cerioidini are often misidentified as members of the subfamily Conopinae of family Conopidae, and vice-versa. Also, Monoceromyia floridensis is endemic to Florida…so far out of range for CA.

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