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

Subject: I really want to know what big this is.
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
June 2, 2017 6:24 pm
I saw this bug on my apartment building and it scared me.
Signature: Krystina Edwards

PIcture Winged Fly

Dear Krystina,
You have nothing to fear.  This is a Picture Winged Fly,
Idana marginata, and we verified its identification on BugGuide.  What appears to be a stinger is actually the ovipositor of a female, an organ she uses to lay eggs.  According to BugGuide, the larva “Develops in compost” and adults are “Sometimes found feeding on sap at tree wounds.”  An amusing encounter with this insect is published on The Incorrigible Entomologist:  “Walking around my yard one morning a few years ago, I looked up into a maple tree to see an unbelievably beautiful insect. Golden yellow and tan, with a striking pattern of black stripes and splotches, the critter looked down at me, rowing its wings back and forth with a feeling of knowing exactly what it was doing. It was unmistakably a fly, but it was huge by Maine fly standards – about 10 mm long. It was also perched high up on the tree trunk, too high to be reached by hand or net. Luckily I had my camera with me. Unluckily, it was only my little point and shoot. I took aim and fired off three shots before the fly, well, flew. Only one photo was in focus, and since the critter was so far away, it was not a very good photo at all. Something as distinctive as this had to be identifiable, though.  ‘Well’, I thought, ‘I’ll post it on BugGuide and see if anyone can point me in the right direction’. Two hours later I had my answer, courtesy of veteran BG editor v belov. It was Idana marginata, eastern North America’s largest picture-winged fly. This family, Ulidiidae, contains about 130 species in North America, many of which are very brightly colored and patterned, hence the common name. Most develop in decaying organic matter, or in roots.”

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: SW PA flying bug
Location: SW Pennsylvania
May 21, 2017 7:11 am
Hello!
I have searched for an answer, but alas, have come up empty handed…thus landing on your website for a possible answer.
This insect is plentiful in my yard outside of Pittsburgh. When it lands, it gently open and closes it’s wings. It doesnt appear to be aggressive, but Im wondering if it harms plants? Or does it fees off other insects?
Signature: Thanks for your time!

Picture Winged Fly

This is a Picture Winged Fly, Delphinia picta, and according to BugGuide:  “Breeds in decaying organic matter, such as compost” so we are suspecting you have a compost pile.

Wow, thank you!  Still a bit odd because we have no compost pile!  But we are surrounded by woods, so I guess there’s always things rotting somewhere.
Thanks again!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd fly/wasp
Location: Charles Town, WV
August 11, 2016 9:06 am
Found in garden near Charles Town WV. What is it?
My neighbor found it, she is a Bee Keeper hoping this isn’t some weird bee thing!
Signature: Becky

Picture Winged Fly

Picture Winged Fly

Dear Becky,
This is a female Picture Winged Fly,
Delphinia picta, and what appears to be a stinger is actually her ovipositor, as is evident in these BugGuide images.  According to BugGuide:  “Breeds in decaying organic matter, such as compost” and if your neighbor has bees and is an avid gardener, we suspect there is a nearby compost pile that Picture Winged Flies might find attractive.

Wow! Thank you very much! Yes, she does have garden compost. She will definitely appreciate this info.
Becky

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentifiable fly
Location: Republic of Congo (Odzala NP)
July 7, 2016 1:42 am
For almost a year now I have been trying to identify this fly. Still, I have not found what species it is. My guess is that it belongs to the Ulidiidae, but I am not sure. Does anyone have an idea what species this fly could be? I photographed it in the Republic of the Congo
Signature: Daniel Nelson

Possibly Picture Winged Fly

Possibly Picture Winged Fly

Dear Daniel,
We agree that this could be a Picture Winged Fly in the family Ulidiidae, but we would seriously consider expanding the possibilities to include the superfamily Tephritoidea that includes Ulidiidae.  The perspective of your image, while quite artful, is not ideal for identification purposes if considered alone.  We once recall reading that four different views are helpful in identifying Robber Flies:  dorsal, lateral, head showing eyes and one other view that currently escapes our memory.  Alas, we cannot locate where we read that.  Furthermore, while quite pretty, many small flies do not command the same attention as large and showy butterflies, moths and beetles that are all much better represented on the internet.  Species from Africa are far less well documented on the internet than North American, Australian and British species.  We feel if you are only depending upon the internet, exact species identification based on this single image might not be possible.  With all that stated, we are posting your gorgeous image and we appeal to our readership to provide comments with any suggestions they may have.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unusual flying bug
Location: Teaneck, nj
September 20, 2015 11:53 am
Please help me identify this creature. I have only recently noticed them hanging out in my yard
Signature: Mark

Picture Winged Fly

Picture Winged Fly

Dear Mark,
Your Picture Winged Fly is Delphinia picta, which you can verify by comparing your individual to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it:  “Breeds in decaying organic matter, such as compost” so if you have a compost pile, that might explain their sudden appearance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what insec
Location: standerton, south africa
August 29, 2015 9:17 am
I have never seen this insect before, living in the same town for 30 years….
Signature: solene

PIcture Winged Fly

PIcture Winged Fly

Hi Solene,
This reminded us of a Fruit Fly in the family Tephritidae, so we searched iSpot for South African species, and though we did not find an exact match, we did find several images that looked very similar, including this iSpot posting, though it is only identified to the family level.  The common name for the family in South Africa is Picture Winged Fly, but that same name is used on iSpot for the family Ulidiidae as well.  We are confident that in South Africa, Picture Winged Fly is an appropriate name for your individual, though we cannot say for certain to which family it belongs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination