Subject: Flying spider
May 30, 2014 11:08 am
I found this insect yesterday (May 30th, 2014) from a sink. From afar it looked like a spider, because it has long legs. It is not a spider though, because it has only six legs and also two wings. The interesting thing about this insect is that it does not use its wings at all, no matter how much you poke it. It only runs really quickly, like a spider, seems like it is meant to live on the ground and not fly. The wings also seem too small to support its size in the air. I have never seen anything like it. I live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in town, so my questions are: What is it and how did it get here?
Here are some features I noticed about this insect: It likes to crawl into narrow dark places. Its body ends with a thick and short tube-like part. The mouthparts look like the closed mouthparts of a horsefly. It rubs its front legs like a housefly (as seen on the third picture). The top of its head is dark-red.
First picture: in the sink beside my finger.
Second picture: on glass, picture taken through the glass (bottom view).
Third picture: same as the second picture.
This is a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae and it is a true Fly, hence the similarities you observed to a House Fly. Louse Flies are blood sucking insects and those that have wings can only fly feebly. Generally Louse Flies are very specific regarding the host, which might be livestock and in some species pigeons and other birds, but when the choice host is not available, they have been known to feed from humans.