Subject: Mystery Bug
Location: Troy, Michigan USA
June 2, 2016 6:27 am
Saw one yesterday 2016 June 1 in the backyard where I have tomato plants, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, squash, peach tree, apple tree, rose bush, hubbard squash, buttercup squash, parlsey, leek, chives, sun chokes, marigolds, hostas, pink coral bells, petunias, dianthus and other stuff growing. Saw one around 7am today June 2 on the rose bush in front. Then saw 2 more mating on the concrete in front about 1.5-2 hours later. I want to know the common and scientific name if you can tell me so I can research if it bites or is a pest to my flowers, fruits and veggies. It is summer here in Michigan. I live north of Detroit in southern Oakland County Michigan in a residential area in the suburbs.
These are mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies, Chrysopilus thoracicus, and according to BugGuide: “Life Cycle Details unknown. This fly is observed in early to mid-spring perched quietly on low vegetation in deciduous woodlands.” Of the family Rhagiionidae, BugGuide notes: “Both adults and larvae are predaceous on a variety of small insects. Most do not bite, but Symphoromyia females [known as Rocky Mountain Bite Flies] are common biting pests in the western mountains and coastal areas.” So, this is either a beneficial insect, or a benign insect that will not harm the numerous plants in your garden.