Subject: Pretty flies
Geographic location of the bug: Northwestern Ontario, Canada
Time: 06:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Found these in my back yard, early July. I’ve been looking through some field guides and online but I haven’t been able to find anything that looks like this (talking about the three larger, spotted ones, though I don’t know what the smaller one is either). I’d say they were maybe between 5 and 7 mm long. Can you tell me what they are?
How you want your letter signed: Val
This identification proved challenging to us at first, but not because we couldn’t locate any matching images of your Flies. We located unidentified matching images on FlickR and again on another FlickR page, but we finally located a FlickR page where these Flies are identified as Anthomyia procellaris. BugGuide has many images, but provides no common name for the species, but does indicated the family name of Root Maggot Flies, which tends to conflict with the information BugGuide provides: “Larvae or puparia have been found in carcasses, bird nests (where they are believed to feed on droppings), eastern tent caterpillar tents (where they presumably feed on frass and/or dead caterpillars), and birch polypores (Polyporus betulinus).” This is a new species for our site and only our second representative of the Root Maggot Fly family Anthomyiidae.