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

Subject:  Bee or Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Clanfield, Waterlooville
Date: 06/30/2018
Time: 06:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We have no idea it this was a bee, wasp or a hybrid of both? Please help
How you want your letter signed:  Ella

Hornet Hover Fly

Dear Ella,
This is neither a Bee nor a Wasp.  It is a Fly, more specifically, a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  We believe it is
Volucella zonaria based on images posted to NatureSpot where it states:  “This is a hornet mimic and is one of our largest and most spectacular hoverflies which can be recognised by its yellow and black banded abdomen.”  The site also states:  “This species became established in Britain in the 1940s and has very much a southerly distribution with most records coming from south of a line from the Severn Estuary to The Wash, however it seems to be expanding its range” and “It seems to be found most frequently in urban areas and even in cities, and also along the south coast.”  BugLife uses the common name Hornet Hoverfly and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust uses the common name Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fly in the forest
Geographic location of the bug:  Olalla, Washington
Date: 03/07/2018
Time: 09:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. This fly was sitting on a coltsfoot leaf in the forest on a chilly day (maybe 48°). I love the brown hairs on his thorax. What is he?
How you want your letter signed:  gardenjim

Hover Fly:  Brachypalpus alopex

Dear Gardenjim,
Though the wings on your individual are smokier than we are used to seeing on a Drone Fly, we believe that is a correct identification for your fly.  The wing veination pattern on your individual matches that of this Drone Fly pictured on BugGuide as well as that of this Drone Fly pictured on BugGuide.  The Drone Fly is an Old World species that has naturalized in North America and it ranges from coast to coast.  The larva of a Drone Fly is known as a Rat Tailed Maggot.

Update:  Cesar Crash of Insetologia provided a comment and correction.  This appears to be a species of Hover Fly in the genus Brachypalpus from the same subfamily as the Drone Fly and there is an undescribed species posted to BugGuide from the same region as this sighting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some kind of hoverfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pu’u Wa’awa’a, Big Island, Hawaii
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 06:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Greetings,
I saw this fly on a mamane flower at around 4,000 feet, near the top of Pu’u Wa’awa’a. It looks like some kind of hoverfly. I thought the markings on the back end would make it easy to  ID, but I can’t find one that looks exactly like this. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Mahalo.
How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Hover Fly

Dear Graham,
This is indeed a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group whose members often impersonate stinging Bees and Wasps as protective mimicry.  Many members of the family closely resemble one another, so exact species identification can be difficult, and this is further exacerbated in Hawaii where many insects and other creatures are not native.  This FlickR image of 
Allograpta obliqua looks very similar, and according to BugGuide data, it is a very far ranging species across North America, making it a likely candidate for its also living in Hawaii.  According to Phorid.net:  “This species is found from North America to Southern South America, and has been introduced in Hawaii. A few specimens were collected at both our Year 1 Malaise trap sites. The larvae feed on aphids, and were found to be a major component of the syrphid fauna of organic lettuce fields on the Central Coast of California.”

Hi Daniel,
Many thanks for the identification. That certainly looks like what I saw. Armed with that information, I found several other sites (scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/14453, entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/hover_fly.htm, www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/rubinoffd/rubinoff_lab/projects/Pest_Fruit_Flies/Pest_Fruit_Flies.htm) confirming the presence of Allograpta obliqua in Hawaii.
Keep up the good work.
Graham

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth id
Geographic location of the bug:  Monkton MD
Date: 11/10/2017
Time: 11:35 AM EDT
Hello,
I think this is a moth? It was found in early November on Hillside Sheffield Pink Chrysanthemum (although not native, it is a wonderful pollinator plant).
How you want your letter signed:  Sue Myers

Orange Collared Scape Moth

Dear Sue,
This is an Orange-Collared Scape Moth,
Cisseps fulvicollis, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults fly from May to October or first hard frost.” As an aside, there is also Flower Fly in the upper left corner of your image.  As a further aside, we were amused that in renaming your image for our archives, we discovered another Scape Moth submitted by a woman named Sue already existed in our archives.

Thank you so much! Wonderful information!
Sue Myers
Environmental Educator
Ladew Topiary Gardens

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Houston, Texas.
Date: 11/08/2017
Time: 10:53 AM EDT
They love flower juice.
How you want your letter signed:  Tan Doan

Flower Flies

Dear Tan,
These are Flower Flies or Hover Flies in the family Syrphidae.  Many members of the family mimic bees and wasps to help deter predators.  Adults are beneficial pollinators and larvae eat Aphids and other small detrimental insects found on plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  bee fly
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, California
Date: 11/04/2017
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
Size of a medium bumblebee. There were a dozen working the flowers in the photo.
How you want your letter signed:  Gerald Friesen

Mexican Cactus Fly

Dear Gerald,
This is not a Bee Fly.  It is a Mexican Cactus Fly, a species of Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on rotting cactus.”

Mexican Cactus Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination