Currently viewing the category: "Flies"

Toxomerus marginatus (syrphid fly)
Location: Naperville, IL
May 25, 2011 8:14 pm
Dear Bugman~
It’s been a while! I photographed today what I swore was a sweat bee on my flowering chives. As I perused your site, exhausting the bee category, I came to the conclusion that it must be a fly. Starting at the bottom of the alphabet, I quickly came upon the Syrphid category. Is this a Toxomerus marginatus? Its markings look like it, although the abdomen on my guy is slenderer than on most of the Toxomerus marginatus photos I have seen. What think you? Thank you! -Dori Eldridge, Naperville, IL.
Signature: -Dori Eldridge

Syrphid Fly

Dear Dori,
We absolutely cannot resist a subject line with a Latin name that indicates that the querant actually did some research.  We agree that this is a Syrphid Fly or Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, and we acknowledge that many Syrphid Flies mimic bees and wasps.  It is also noteworthy that Syrphid Flies are good pollinators that really love umbel flowers like carrot blossoms and dill weed.  Many Syrphid Flies have larvae that feed on Aphids.  We don’t know if you have correctly identified this Syrphid as
Toxomerus marginatus, but if we have time, we will look it up tomorrow and provide an opinion.

Hi again Dori,
After a good night’s sleep, we concur with your identification after checking the photos posted to BugGuide.

Thank you, Daniel!
I love flowers;  I love birds;  I love bugs.  I love to take photos and identify them with proper names, so your help is enormously appreciated.
Thank you so, so much!
All the best,
-Dori Eldridge

What’s that bug, lol?

Unknown Fly

Subject: What’s that bug, lol?
Location: Northeast Ms.
May 21, 2011 10:42 am
What a neat site! I am fascinated by insects, so I will be here often, lol! I found this bug in my house last night. I live in NE Ms.
After moving him/her outside, I took these photos. I thought it was a lightening bug, my husband thinks Wasp, and I have friends on FB that think it’s a Cicada. I don’t think it’s any of these. I figure this is a pretty basic insect that I should know, and feel rather dumb that I don’t, lol! I have been all over the internet looking at images and have had no luck identifying it so far.
Thank you for your time! 😉
Signature: PHolland

Unknown Fly

Dear P Holland,
We are having a terrible time trying to identify this insect.  Here is what we are certain of:  It is a Fly.  Beyond that, we suspect it is a Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  The closest match we are able to locate on BugGuide is
Monoceromyia floridensis, but sadly, the details of the antennae are not clearly visible in your photos.  BugGuide indicates that species if found in Florida, but Mississippi isn’t that far from Florida.  Perhaps it is a close relative.  The positioning of the wings has allowed us to eliminate any of the Thick Headed Flies found on BugGuide which also have some similar looking species.  It is evident that this fly is a wasp mimic because of the narrow waist and coloration.  Many Flower Flies mimic bees.  We hope one of our readers will write in to confirm or refute this identification.

Unknown Fly

Thank you for the quick reply!!!  I had 2 more folks insist earlier today that it’s a wasp. Ha… they were wrong!!!!

What Is This Fly?
Location: Toronto, Canada
May 18, 2011 8:14 pm
I work in a medical office on the second floor and we have large windows. There are a few houseplants at the window. I noticed these small flies every day. They keep coming from somewhere, but our windows don’t open so they may live inside the building. They are very sluggish, I can pick them up with my fingers or hands. They don’t fly away like normal flies. I find many of them sitting by the window, usually dead and drying up. I can’t seem to figure out what they are, and where they are coming from. Can you please help?
Signature: Eddie

Bathroom Fly

Hi Eddie,
This is an amazingly detailed image of a Bathroom Fly.  Bathroom Flies breed in the sludge that accumulates in drain pipes.  They are also called Drain Flies or Moth Flies.

Is this a horse Fly?
Location: Roxboro, NC
May 16, 2011 2:09 pm
This bug was flittering with some northern cloudywing butterflys. they were chasing it away from the flowers. I thought it was a small butterfly but looking at the pictures later I decided it might be a Hoarse Fly but can’t find one with the bright yellow eyes. I live in Northern North Carolina. It was sighted on May 16 in the morning in my rural flower garden near a stream, woods and a meadow.
Signature: Thanks, J Armacost

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Dear J,
This is a Golden Backed Snipe Fly,
Chrysopilus thoracicus, and each spring, we receive several new images for our archive.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are alleged to be predatory on other insects, but they may feed little (observations by BugGuide members).”  Additionally, bugGuide indicates that the details of the life cycle are unknown.

Weird water caterpillers with tails?
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan 49198
May 15, 2011 9:05 pm
So my friend has a ”backyard pond” that gets cleaned at the begining of spring every year and that’s really about it. Its more like a cement hole with water. There is no fish or plants just water. Anyway, his 15 year old sun was cleaning the ”pond” out today and found these things that look like worm/caterpillars with a long thin tail. They wriggle in the water and swim slowly about. The smaller ones were close to the top of the 3 foot deep pond but the bigger ones started to come up when he had removed half the water. Can you help us identify them?
Signature: Shellin and Damon

Rattailed Maggots

Dear Shellin and Damon,
These are Rat-Tailed Maggots, the larva of the Drone Fly.  They are often found in stagnant water and the “tail” is actually a breathing tube.

Green bug!!!
Location: Central Florida
May 14, 2011 9:49 am
Have any idea what kind of bug this is? I live in Central Florida and they are only around this time of year. They are too smart…if they get into the house they fly into the walls repeatedly. Ugh! They buzz very loudly for a bug their size. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Hopefully someone can ID this bug and tell me how to send them away!!
Signature: Help!!!

Horse Fly

Dear Help!!!,
According to BugGuide, this is
Chlorotabanus crepuscularis, the only green Horse Fly in North America.  BugGuide also indicates:  “Females feed on mammalian blood” as well as providing this remark:  “As with all the blood-feeding tabanids, the females are responsive to Carbon Dioxide. I caught over 500 females in one night with a trap baited with dry ice in coastal South Carolina. Will also come to lights at night.  Regarded as a pest species in Florida.”  Though we don’t normally provide extermination advice, we thought we would pass on the information about trapping them with dry ice, a fascinating method.  Also, the specimen in the photo is a blood sucking female who can be distinguished from the male by her eyes.  The eyes of a male Horse Fly meet at the center of the head while those of the female have a small space between them.

Thank you!!  They are a MILLION of them where I live (pretty rural).  I have never been bit by one though…luckily.  They seem to be attracted to light, too!!  I’ll try the dry ice though!!  Thanks!