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

Subject:  GREEN WEIRD BUGS
Geographic location of the bug:  My school in North America, sand box by the swings
Date: 11/02/2017
Time: 11:02 PM EDT
There are green flying bugs at my school’s sandbox. Whenever I go to get on one of the swings in the sand box, I get scared because kids tell me that the bugs are sand bees. I looked them up, no results besides sand wasps, which do not look like the bugs I saw. They bugs burrowed into the sand, and dug holes in it. They appeared to be a spring grass green and they kind of hovered over the ground a little like a bee. I can not get a close look at one, Im too scared, but I just avoid them whenever I can. I would just like to know what type of bug it is, and if you can not figure that out, see if you can tell me if I should avoid them/report them to the school. Thank you! (both images attached are what the bee-thing kind of looked like, a mix between the two)
How you want your letter signed:  Cassie

Blow Fly

Dear Cassie,
The image you provided is of a Blow Fly in the family Calliphoridae which you can verify by comparing it to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “scavengers (larvae in carrion, excrement, etc.) or parasites” which might mean animals (or children) are using the sandbox for some unsanitary purposes, or that there is something dead buried in the sandbox.  BugGuide also indicates:  “Commonly seen ‘basking’ on the exterior walls of buildings (flesh flies also have this habit). Some cause myasis in humans and livestock.”

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: Flying fly eater
Location: Central Connecticut
August 1, 2016 10:42 am
Saw this guy on a fencepost in central Connecticut. Curious about the ID. Thanks
Signature: Bug watcher

Robber Fly eats Blow Fly

Robber Fly eats Blow Fly

Dear Bug Watcher,
The predator in your image is a Robber Fly, but we are not certain of the genus.  We will attempt to research its identity further.  The prey appears to be a Blow Fly, perhaps a Green Bottle Fly or some other member of the genus
Lucilia, a group that is well documented on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help! Totally stumped with this insect!
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
September 16, 2013 5:37 pm
Hi there! I’m writing from Newfoundland, Canada. Today, sept 16, 2013 I came across an insect I have never seen before. I’m usually good with bugs – but this one has me stumped!
While walking through an alder bed with goldenrod I first observed the insect flying around and then landing on goldenrod. It looked a d behaved wasp like, pumping up and down. I never seen anything like it. Then I found a group of them ! They were attracted to a group of flies that had landed on something small and deceased. The flies were landing and walking on the carcass and the insects in question were skulking around – and then I watched one sneak up and grab a fly! Then I realized they were all doing this.
I had considered Robber Fly – but the antenna look totally wrong, so does everything else! But the behaviour is very similar! It’s predatory. I’d estimate the insect to be almost an inch in length.
Sorry for the long letter but I hope the details will help! Thank you so very much!!!
Signature: Jenny in Newfoundland

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle eats Blow Fly

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle eats Blow Fly

Dear Jenny,
This is one of the most exciting letters we have received in a very long time, and we are featuring it because of your thrilling personal observations and the gorgeous photos you have taken as proof of your observations.  In our untrained minds, you have made a significant scientific observation.  This is a Gold and Brown Rove Beetle,
Ontholestes cingulatus, and it appears to be preying on a Blow Fly.  According to BugGuide, the Gold and Brown Rove Beetle can be identified because it is “Large for a rove beetle. Dark brown and hairy. Clumps of hair forms dark spots on much of body. Yellow hair forms “belt” under thorax, covers parts of last abdominal segments. Head wider than pronotum. Eyes large, prominently placed on sides of head. Found on carrion and fungi. Often turns yellow tip of abdomen upward when walking.”  BugGuide also states its habitat is:  “on carrion wherever found” and “Eggs are laid near carrion or fungi,” but this is a rare BugGuide Information Page that does not discuss what the adult Gold and Brown Rove Beetle eats.  The large eyes are mentioned, and large eyes placed on the sides of the head would make a good hunter.  We suspect that the reason the Gold and Brown Rove Beetles are attracted to the Carrion is to prey upon flies as well as to lay eggs.  The developing Fly Maggots would compete with the larval Gold and Brown Rove Beetles’ food source, so eating the flies before they can breed on the carrion probably helps more Rove Beetles to survive to the adult stage.  Thanks again for your exciting submission.  We are going to feature it on our scrolling header as well.

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle preys upon Blow Fly

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle preys upon Blow Fly

Oh that’s so fascinating! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!
It was just the most incredible thing watching those beetles hunt the flies. It took me by surprise at first! So I grabbed my camera and decided to photograph them grabbing and eating the flies. They moved so swiftly. They actually snuck up on the fly and then just grabbed them! There were about 7 of them around the carcass, and each one had a fly in it’s legs! So interesting! Especially since I never seen one before! I could have watched them for hours. Thank you so much for identifying this insect for me! I couldn’t figure out what it was and was going crazy! I’m so happy!
Many thanks!
Jennifer

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Creepy Fly Eating Bug??
Location: Backyard of home in Antelope Valley, CA
July 14, 2013 6:05 pm
This is the second day I have seen this bug and finally got a good picture! I live in the High Desert of Antelope Valley, CA. and have never seen it before. Did not realize it was eating a fly until I loaded the picture and wow…..CREEPY!
Signature: CheckingOutBugs

Robber Fly feeds upon Blow Fly

Robber Fly feeds upon Blow Fly

Dear CheckingOutBugs,
The predator is some species of Robber Fly and the appears to be a Blow Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly with Really Large Eyes
Location: Northeast Florida
June 24, 2012 7:23 pm
Here’s another fly I saw the other day in my yard in northeast Florida. It wasn’t very big, about 10mm, but it had enormous eyes that almost took up its entire head. With its huge red eyes and bright blue-green body I thought it was colorful and interesting. I went looking for it on BugGuide and found that it’s a Chrysomya megacephala, also known as a Hairy Maggot Blowfly–not a very appealing name! I couldn’t find any flies like this one on What’s That Bug so I’m sending you a photo.
Signature: Karen in FL

Hairy Maggot Blow Fly

Hi Karen,
This is the second time this week you have provided us with a wonderful new fly species photo for our site as well as doing the necessary research to determine the species.  BugGuide does not provide any information on the species page for
Chrysomya megacephala, but if our knowledge of ancient languages is not too rusty, we believe megacephala refers to the large head in Greek and Ask.com supports that.  On the genus page on BugGuide, we learned that “Adults are robust flies metallic green in color with a distinct blue hue when viewed under bright sunlit conditions. The posterior margin of the abdominal tergites are a brilliant blue” and as an introduced species, “It is now established in Southern California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. It is also found throughout Central America, Japan, India, and the remainder of the old world.”  Backing off to the family page on BugGuide for Blow Flies, the reader learns that they are “scavengers (larvae in carrion, excrement, etc.) or parasites” and that they are “very common in a wide variety of habitats, including heavily urbanized areas.”  Normally we do not link to Wikipedia, but that resource does have an extensive page on this species where it is called the even less appealing Oriental Latrine Fly.  Wikipedia also states:  “C. megacephala is considered one of the most important species of flies to forensic science. This is because it is one of the first species to show up on a corpse.”  

Hi Daniel,
I’m glad the fly photos are helpful! I learned about BugGuide from you and What’s That Bug?, and now I always try to identify the bugs I photograph by looking here and at BugGuide. Usually I can figure it out to my satisfaction. This was such a colorful fly and turned out to have such an unpleasant name! I’ve been seeing some very pretty Long-Legged Flies and I’ll try to send you some photos of those.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination