What is this bug? Is it dangerous?
Location: Katoomba, NSW, Australia
April 20, 2012 5:40 am
We’ve been finding these bugs all over outside and my little boy has been playing with them. I just need to make sure they are not dangerous since they are all over the place lately.
Signature: -Autumn and Mark
Dear Autumn and Mark,
In January 2007 we received a similar photo from Australia. We knew the creature was a fly, but we were uncertain if it was wingless or if the wings were somehow lost. We eventually learned it was a wingless female fly in the Soldier Fly subfamily Chiromyzinae. At that time, there was no information available on the internet. Now we located a Tree of Life web page posted in 2008 that states: “Chiromyzinae is an unusual group of soldier flies as the larvae are predominantly phytophagous, with many species feeding on the roots of grasses (James 1981; Oosterbroek 1998).” These wingless Soldier Flies are harmless.