Subject: Stumped by a fly
Location: andover township, nj
July 1, 2015 5:17 am
I found this very interesting fly in my garden yesterday and I have been completely unsuccessful in finding an ID for it. Hoping you can help. One thing that was interesting was that it had a thick line of “feathering” on its hind leg. I’ve cropped these photos so that you can see the detail.
Hope you can help!
Your Feather Legged Fly has some noticeable differences when compared to the images on BugGuide of Trichopoda pennipes, but we are still relatively confident in that as the identification. The BugGuide description is: “Bright orange abdomen, velvety black head and thorax, and a fringe of short black hairs on the hind legs. Male: ferrugineous spot in the wing, abdomen dark orange at apex; female: wing evenly dusky, abdominal tip black.” The biggest difference is the black abdomen on your individual, which just may be an example of variation within the species. Your side view clearly shows the feathered hind legs. This Feather Legged Fly is an important biological control agent, and BugGuide lists the hosts as: “various pentatomorph bugs (Coreidae, Largidae, Pentatomidae, Scutelleridae) … Anasa tristis is an important common host.”
Udate: In looking through our own archives, this might be Trichopoda lanipes.
Thank you, Daniel! That does look like my fly! As always, I appreciate your assistance.