Subject: Bugs around almond trees
Location: 30KM South of Shiraz
April 16, 2013 9:50 am
I have a lot of these black insects around my almond trees in a garden near Shiraz, Iran.
I will be glad if you assist me identify these insects and if they are pest or not.
they look like peach tree borers but they are not.
They appear in early April every year and are present until mid May or end of May.
I can say almost 200 or 300 insects are flying or landing on each tree.
I can provide better images if needed, I will shoot using a professional camera next Friday and send the high quality images for you…
Signature: Hossein Razavieh
These are March Flies in the family Bibionidae, and possibly in the genus Bibio, and though we have not had any luck identifiying any Iranian species, you can see similar North American species on BugGuide as well as in our archive. March Flies exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, and the males have the larger heads with bigger eyes. We are happy that you submitted a photo of each sex. We would love to get better photos later in the month. Please title the subject line March Flies from Iran. We do not believe they are harming your almond trees. According to BugGuide: “larvae live gregariously in the top layers of soil and leaf litter, rotten wood, and dung; adults often found on flowers.” BugGuide also notes: “Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose “swarms” and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber (Plecia lay eggs on the soil surface). Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).” BugGuide also states: “larvae may damage cereal crops, vegetable crops, ornamental plants, nursery stock, grass, and forage crops; adult Bibio and Dilophus may be important pollinators in orchards and are the exclusive pollinators of some species of Orchidaceae and Iridaceae.” Since they are short lived, they might not be around next week, but we would love to request a photo of a mating pair if possible. One North American species found in Florida is known as the Love Bug because they are frequently found in flagrante delicto in large numbers.