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

Subject (please be succinct, descriptive and specific):  children’s book with male horsefly character
Date: 02/22/2020
Time: 04:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi – I’m writing a children’s book and one of the main characters is a male horsefly. I’ve been trying to find what types of plants male horseflies (specifically in the area of Kentucky) would be most attracted to.  I haven’t been able to find anything so far.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you.  Diana Wilburn

Male Black Horse Fly on Corn Leaf

Dear Diana,
Most of the images we have of male Horse Flies were not taken on plants, however, we did locate an image in our archives of a male Black Horse fly from nearby Indiana that was taken on the leaf of a corn plant.  According to BugGuide:  “adult females feed on vertebrate blood, usually of warm-blooded animals; males (also females in a few spp. in all 3 subfamilies) visit flowers.”  Of the Black Horse Fly,
Tabanus atratus, BugGuide notes:  “males, which lack mandibles, feed on nectar and plant juices.”  We suspect umble-shaped flowers in the family Apiaceae including parsley, carrots, dill and Queen Anne’s lace that attract many pollinating flies would also be a choice for Horse Flies, and we have images in our archive showing a Male Horse Fly (Hybomitra cincta) on a parsley blossom.  Other images we located online of male Horse Flies feeding on other umble blossoms include Nature Picture Library where it is on fennel, iStock Getty Images where the male Horse Fly is feeding on Hogweed, and Wikipedia where it states:  “they mainly feed on nectar of flowers (especially of Apiaceae species).”  Composite flowers in the family Asteraceae, are also good food sources including this Adobe Stock Images example of a male Horse Fly on Goldenrod or this Alamy image of a male Horse Fly on a coneflower.

Male Horse Fly on Parsley

Dear Daniel,
Wow what a detailed answer, thank you.  This is so helpful.
I also ordered a copy of your book.  Amazing what you learn and get interested in when you take a deep dive into something.
If/ when this books ends going to print I’ll definitely send a copy.
Thanks again
Diana
Good Luck with your book Diana.  We are glad we were helpful.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this found in clarinda
Geographic location of the bug:  Clarinda victoria
Date: 02/04/2020
Time: 07:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My wife found this at the park. Never seen it before in my life. What on earth is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Mik

Unknown Robber Fly

Dear Mik,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  There are many species pictured on the Brisbane Insect site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bristle Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Oakdale NSW
Date: 02/02/2020
Time: 06:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please confirm if the attached image is of a Bristle fly. The markings are slightly different than those on your website.
How you want your letter signed:  Bristle fly?

Tachinid Fly

This is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae, and some species are known as Bristle Flies because of the course hairs that cover the abdomen of many species.  We believe your individual might be Formosia speciosa which is pictured on Brisbane Insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Atlanta, Georgia
Date: 01/03/2020
Time: 02:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a fly of some sort?
How you want your letter signed:  Bruce Carlson

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear Bruce,
This is a gorgeous image of a Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as 
Rainieria antennaepes thanks to this BugGuide image.  Of the family, BugGuide notes “Adults of some species are attracted to rotting fruit or dung; in other species adults are predaceous; larvae saprophagous.”  Your image has documented feeding, though we are not certain what has comprised the meal, though based on the BugGuide food information, either “rotting fruit or dung” appears to be a possibility.

Thanks Dan for the identification.  I should have mentioned in my message that my wife took the photograph, but she’s happy to see it posted on your website!
Bruce Carlson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Blue robber fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mudgee, nsw
Date: 01/01/2020
Time: 03:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw anothe post with a very similar fly and you said it was an exciting find, so I thought I’d send you mine. Never seen one before, I assume it’s come to escape the fires.
How you want your letter signed:  Cheers, Jeremy.

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Dear Jeremy,
We always love posting excellent images of large Robber Flies, arguably among the most adept winged insect predators.  We believe you are correct that this is a Giant Blue Robber Fly,
Blepharotes spendidissimus, based on images posted online.  The human finger for scale is a nice addition.  We are well aware of the horrific fires currently burning in Australia.

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mexican Cactus Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, Arizona
Date: 12/30/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I photographed these flies as they visited flowers at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona.  I think that they may be Mexican Cactus Flies; and I was hoping that you could confirm that.  Of course, you may use the photos if so desired.
How you want your letter signed:  Stephen Nelson

Mexican Cactus Fly

Dear Stephen,
This is indeed a Mexican Cactus Fly,
Copestylum mexicanum.  Though the Mexican Cactus Fly is a member of the Hover Fly family Syrphidae, it does not resemble most other members of the family that look like bees and wasps as protective mimicry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination