Currently viewing the category: "Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Found on Asters and it appears to prey on bees
Geographic location of the bug:  Bloomington, Indiana
Date: 10/16/2017
Time: 09:31 PM EDT
I’ve seen a couple of these bugs. They are pretty small, only looking like a tiny piece of bark that fell onto the flower. They seem to park themselves on the aster and aren’t afraid of being photographed. Today, I got a shot of one sucking on the abdomen of a small bee. It looked like the bee wad dead.
How you want your letter signed:  Teddy Alfrey

Ambush Bug eats Flower Fly

Dear Teddy,
Your images are exquisite.  The predator in your images is an Ambush Bug, and though it resembles a bee, the prey is actually a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family SyrphidaeAmbush Bugs are frequently found on blossoms where they ambush insects, many of which are pollinators.

Ambush Bug

Thanks for the “exquisite” comment, and the quick reply!!
My thought was that the prey was something like a Mason Bee, but of course, you’re right about the Flower Fly.
I have quite a few insect photos on my Flickr page:
And on Facebook:
Other than bees, my favorite insects to photograph are spiders, but I don’t get much love for my spider photos!
Thanks again!!!

We have published your links so maybe you will get some additional traffic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Weird insect : cross between cicada and spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Sydney
Date: 10/11/2017
Time: 06:15 PM EDT
We found this in our backyard. Could you help me identify this insect? And if it is harmful to my kids?
How you want your letter signed:  Dida

Robber Fly

Dear Dida,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and members of the family are not aggressive toward humans, however, we would not try to handle one at the risk of being bitten.  Your individual looks similar to this individual posted to Australian Geographic.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick respond! 🙂 we are new to Australia, and constantly see ‘new’ insect species. As Australia is known for venomous animal kingdom, we try to keep our kids from harm. Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Giant Tachinid Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Arlington, WA
Date: 10/10/2017
Time: 02:13 PM EDT
I have two what looks like Giant Tachinid flies on my mint outside this week.  I took a number of photos as it looked way different than any I’ve seen.  It really looks like Giant, but according to all research I have found, its not located anywhere here .. only Europe and that region.   Are there Giant species here?  This was the size of a larger bumblebee.. so I noticed it at once.. stiff bristles on a smooth black body with orange head and wings.. so it stood out.    Funny enough the photos I find are all in the UK on mint as well.  Thank you for any clarification on this species.
How you want your letter signed:  Sammy Catiis

Tachinid Fly

Dear Sammy,
Tachinid Fly is a name used for a member of the parasitoid family Tachinidae.  According to BugGuide, a site dedicated to North American sightings:  “Second largest dipteran family (after Tipulidae), with ~1350 spp. in >300 genera of 4 subfamilies in our area(1) and >10,000 spp. in ~1600 genera worldwide; it is possible that only half of the species have been described.”  We searched for images of the Giant Tachinid Fly, and we found an image on Alamy from Wales that is identified as
Tachina grossa and it has a light collar of hairs behind the head, a distinctive feature also found on your individual.  The genus is also found in North America, and this BugGuide image also has the light collar.  Data indicates the genus is found in Washington.  Congratulations on identifying your individual to the genus level.  According to BugGuide “40 spp. in 2 subgenera in our area”  but most of the individuals posted to BugGuide are not identified to the species level, so we suspect they are difficult to identify from images.

Tachinid Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly species?
Geographic location of the bug:  Creighton, KZN, South Africa
Date: 10/10/2017
Time: 10:21 AM EDT
Found this indoors, looks like a fly, but never seen this one before.
Thought it was Rhachoepalpus immaculatus, but coloring not the same.
How you want your letter signed:  Terence

Tachinid Fly

Dear Terence,
This is a parasitoid Tachinid Fly.  According to Animal Diversity Web
Rhachoepalpus immaculatus is a Tachinid Fly.  Tachinidae is a large family with many similar looking individuals, so we cannot say for certain if your identification is correct to the species level, but you do have the family correct.

Thanks for the prompt responce.
Greatly appreciated.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this, and what is it drinking?
Geographic location of the bug:  Iowa- north Central
Date: 10/07/2017
Time: 11:45 PM EDT
This bug caught my eye.  I can only identify  a handful of bugs.   So forgive me if this is fairly common.   It looked like a hairy “hulk” for a house fly.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug Novice

Vomiting Blue Bottle Fly, we believe

Dear Bug Novice,
This is definitely a Fly in the order Diptera, and we recall reading once that Flies regurgitate their food, so we searched the web and found this image on Ask an Entomologist of a regurgitating Fly and the site states:  “You’ve probably noticed an intrepid fly boldly navigating your pizza, lapping up oils and pizza sauce.  Shortly after enjoying some of your meal, the fly, assuming it’s the kind with the lapping mouth parts, will have to throw it’s food back up and eat it again. If it’s walking on something solid, like your steak, it has to spit a digestive soup on it to help break it down.”  Kids’ Animal Station has a similar image with this explanation:  “Flies taste with their feet, so, if they think you taste good, (keep in mind that, from a fly’s perspective, dog poop tastes good, so you’d better hope the fly doesn’t think you taste good!) they might just vomit stomach juices on you in an attempt to liquefy your skin into something fly edible. Luckily, house fly vomit is not actually strong enough to break down human skin, but you still have to think about that tiny speck on your arm or leg that could carry disease.”  We don’t immediately recognize your fly, and its red vomit is quite eye-catching, so we will attempt to identify it.

Update:  Shortly after posting your submission, we found posting of a Blow Fly that looks like your individual on The Backyard Arthropod Project , and the speculation is that it might be Calliphora livida, but we would rather hope your individual might be a Blue Bottle Fly, Callipphora vomitoria, which is pictured on BugGuide, and whose scientific species name alludes to the possibility that it might be a frequent puker.  Alas, no BugGuide images illustrate the regurgitation process, and no mention is made on BugGuide regarding the meaning of its binomial name.

Interesting!  Thank you for your knowledge.
Originally I took the picture to send to my son who was visiting Grandma that day.   I now wish I would have taken different angles, because this fly has intrigued me since I saw it.
Unfortunately I think you may be right on this blow fly.   (However I don’t recall color.  I could be  mistaken)  We live in farm land, surrounded by thousands (maybe million) chickens, as well as pigs.   In addition these confinements have manure storage unfortunately close (within 5 miles) to our home.    We have had an increase of weeds and flies because of it.
Thank you again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Penn State University Park Campus
Date: 10/03/2017
Time: 05:48 PM EDT
I have this fly that I need correctly identified. I have identified it as the Phaonia Palpata Fly; however, I believe that’s incorrect as that particular species of fly usually resides in England. I hope you can help me identify it.
How you want your letter signed:  N

Flesh Fly

Dear N,
This is a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae, but we are uncertain of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination