Subject: I finally got a photo of this fly on my Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
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
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.”
That makes sense because I also have sunflowers growing nearby.