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

Subject:  New to my yard
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwestern PA, foothills of the Appalachians
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 09:25 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve just noticed these in my yard this year – and there’s quite a few of them.   Yesterday I saw one holding another smaller bug (gnat maybe?)in its, so I’m thinking they might be carnivorous.
How you want your letter signed:  Frankie

Gnat Ogre

Dear Frankie,
Your submission has us terribly amused.  We immediately suspected this to be a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and we tried a web search for Robber Flies with huge eyes, and we quickly found some images posted to BugGuide indicating it might be in the genus
Holcocephala, but alas BugGuide is currently having technical difficulties and is not available, so we searched that genus name elsewhere and we encountered Discover Life where we learned members of this genus are commonly called Gnat Ogres, hence the source of our amusement.  For the sake of continuity, we are going to assume the prey you witnessed was in fact a Gnat.  The name Gnat Ogre is also used on iNaturalist.  According to iNaturalist, there are 40 species in the genus.

Gnat Ogre

Thank you! I love the name!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I finally got a photo of this fly on my Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 08:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have been seeing this small yellow fly with very pretty wings, about a quarter of an inch long, resting on the leaves of my medical marijuana plants for the past two years, but this is the first time I was able to get some photos.  Please identify this fly and let me know if it will harm my medication.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Dear Constant Gardener,
This identification proved challenging for us.  We had no luck searching Fruit Flies in the family Tephritidae on Natural History of Orange County, so we browsed through BugGuide where we located
Paracantha cultaris.  According to BugGuide, the hosts are “on Cirsium (Asteraceae)”, so your medical Cannabis should be safe.  According to iNaturalist:  “The adult is mainly orange-brown in color. The maggots can be found inside sunflowers and the adult flies are usually nearby the sunflowers.”

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Thanks Bugman,
That makes sense because I also have sunflowers growing nearby.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mysterious Tabanus
Geographic location of the bug:  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date: 08/09/2019
Time: 10:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello bugman!
I found this large (1-1 1/2″) and very slow-flying horse fly on the trim of my car a few mornings ago. Only when I poked it with a stick did it finally fly around a bit and in a manner that almost reminded me of a bumblebee, flying with abdomen hangings down slightly. It stayed in the same area of our garage door for 24 hours. Every time my camera flash lit up, both for pre-flash and actual picture, the fly kind of jumped, as if it was scared or pained by the flash on my old Samsung A5 phone camera. But it never actually flew or even moved it’s feet much because of the flash, just sort of jumped on the spot.
I’m certain this is in the Tabanus genus thanks to a lot of googling, but cannot determine the species. The closest I can come is maybe Tabanus superjumentarius. Thoughts?
Thank you,
How you want your letter signed:  Mike L. in Ottawa

Horse Fly

Dear Mike L. in Ottawa,
We are going to go with
Tabanus catenatus which is pictured on BugGuide and is reported from Ontario on BugGuide.  The space between the eyes indicates this individual is a female.

Horse Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Cleveland, NY 13042
Date: 08/08/2019
Time: 09:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Mr. Bugman  – I came across this insect while photographing dragonflies in my small meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I heard him before I saw him. I was quite fascinated with how low and slow he flew and how loud he was! Sounded like a small drone! I noticed him first yesterday but all he did was fly back and forth without ever stopping. Then late this morning he was in the dirt on the edge of the little meadow acting like an ovipositing dragonfly, but in one place. Then this afternoon I saw him/her fly across the meadow and land quite close by. That is when I got the photos. Any ID help you can give me would be most appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Ginny

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Ginny,
This magnificent Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites is a Hanging Thief, and it is eating its prey, a Wasp, in the typical manner which has led to its common name, by hanging from one leg.  We rarely try to identify Hanging Thieves to the species level as we don’t have the necessary expertise, but this sure looks to us like Diogmites discolor which is pictured on BugGuide.  You might have witnessed oviposition, because according to BugGuide:  “Oviposits in ground, and ovipositor equipped with spines to aid in covering eggs. Larvae are possibly predators in soil”

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Daniel,
Your incredibly fast reply is most appreciated! A Hanging Thief no less!! That was one of the things that fascinated me about this Robber Fly – in every photo she was hanging onto the vegetation by one leg. I really enjoyed all the information you provided. Our bugs never cease to amaze! Thank you so much for all of your help. Take care – Ginny
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Darlington, County Durham
Date: 07/30/2019
Time: 07:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello there. Can you please help me identify this fly?
I found it in the kitchen after a party and it appeared to be sucking the surface of the cake lid.
I lifted it outside and it is still there this morning.
Is it friend or foe? I’d like to help it if needs be.
How you want your letter signed:  Victoria

March Fly

Dear Victoria,
This is a female March Fly in the family Bibionidae, a group sometimes called St. Mark’s Flies in the UK, though that common name might refer to only a single species in the genus Bibio.  Based on images posted to NatureSpot, your individual might be
Bibio johannis, or possibly Bibio pomonae, the Heather Fly.

March Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Potential Carpenter Bee Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin, Texas 78757
Date: 08/06/2019
Time: 04:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I took pictures of two of these very large black bees/flies this morning. I noticed them when refilling a water saucer in a shady woodland setting. Is this a beneficial creature for my certified wildlife habitat, or should I be worried for wood damage in the area?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Kat

Belzebul Bee-Eater

Dear Curious Kat,
This is definitely a predatory Robber Fly and not a Bee.  The white “cheeks” and yellow band on the abdomen are good indications this is a Belzebul Bee-Eater,
Mallophora leschenaulti, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “has been reported to attack and kill hummingbirds” but we suspect that is a very rare occurrence.  In our opinion, though they are known to prey on Bees, the Belzebul Bee-Eater would be a beneficial creature in your certified wildlife habitat as it is a native species.

Belzebul Bee-Eater

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination