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

Subject:  Found on Asters and it appears to prey on bees
Geographic location of the bug:  Bloomington, Indiana
Date: 10/16/2017
Time: 09:31 PM EDT
I’ve seen a couple of these bugs. They are pretty small, only looking like a tiny piece of bark that fell onto the flower. They seem to park themselves on the aster and aren’t afraid of being photographed. Today, I got a shot of one sucking on the abdomen of a small bee. It looked like the bee wad dead.
How you want your letter signed:  Teddy Alfrey

Ambush Bug eats Flower Fly

Dear Teddy,
Your images are exquisite.  The predator in your images is an Ambush Bug, and though it resembles a bee, the prey is actually a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family SyrphidaeAmbush Bugs are frequently found on blossoms where they ambush insects, many of which are pollinators.

Ambush Bug

Daniel,
Thanks for the “exquisite” comment, and the quick reply!!
My thought was that the prey was something like a Mason Bee, but of course, you’re right about the Flower Fly.
I have quite a few insect photos on my Flickr page:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/teddyalfrey/albums
And on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/teddy.alfrey
Other than bees, my favorite insects to photograph are spiders, but I don’t get much love for my spider photos!
Thanks again!!!
Teddy.

We have published your links so maybe you will get some additional traffic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly that looks like a bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 09/09/2017
Time: 05:31 PM EDT
Found this little dude stealing salt off my leg
How you want your letter signed:  Zack

Hover Fly

Dear Zack,
This is a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, and many perfectly harmless members of this family have shapes and coloration that mimic stinging wasps or bees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Iowa Yellow Jacket Hoverfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Pella, Iowa
August 26, 2017 1:06 PM
Noisy little hover fly on my pine log pile. Very friendly.
How you want your letter signed :  Darin

Yellowjacket Hover Fly

Dear Darin,
The Yellowjacket Hover Fly is also commonly called a Good News Bee.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Israel
August 24, 2017 1:44 am
Can you tell me what type of bug this is? Photographed in Israel, August (Summer), may be obvious but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
Any help appreciated
Signature: Ari

Hover Fly

Dear Ari,
This is a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, and many members of the family mimic stinging bees and wasps.  Your individual is an effective mimic of Thread-Waisted Wasps.  Though they look like stinging insects, Hover Flies are perfectly harmless, since they neither sting nor bite.  Hover Flies are beneficial in the garden.  Adults pollinate flowers and Syrphid larvae feed on Aphids.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tell me what this is please
Location: East Sussex UK
August 19, 2017 2:01 pm
I have a big wasp like bug but it has a furry body. Can you tell me what it is please? It was in a jar of jam three day ago.
Signature: Kind regards?

Hornet Mimic Hover Fly and Yellowjackets

Unlike the surrounding Yellowjackets that are able to sting to defend themselves or their nest, the Hornet Mimic Hover Fly in the middle of your image neither stings nor bites, so it depends upon its protective mimicry to keep it safe from predators.  Many Hover Flies or Flower Flies in the family Syrphidae mimic stinging wasps and bees for protection.  You can compare your individual to this image on the British Hoverflies site to verify our identification.  We suspect these critters were accidentally attracted to the jam jar when it was unintentionally left uncovered.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: catapillar species?
Location: Fullerton, California
August 15, 2017 6:37 am
Have found several of these on a California native milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis. They are quite sedentary and don’t seem to be eating the leaves or flowers. They are hard to photograph clearly, as the ‘skin’ is oddly transparent.
Signature: wev

Syrphid Fly Larva on Milkweed

Dear wev,
We do not recognize your caterpillar, and unfortunately, searching online for caterpillars on milkweed leads to Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars, which this is clearly not.  We will attempt to research this further, but meanwhile, we will post it as unidentified.  Perhaps one of our readers will recognize it.

Ed. Note:  August 16, 2017
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, we agree this is most likely the larva of a Syrphid Fly (see BugGuide ) which would mean it was probably feeding on Aphids.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination