Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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Toxomerus marginatus
Location:  Hawthorne, California
September 4, 2010 3:42 pm
Hi Bugman,
I think I have this fly properly identified. Can you confirm it as being a Syrphid fly – Toxomerus marginatus?
Signature:  Thanks, Anna

Common Oblique Syrphid

Hi Anna,
This is a Syrphid Fly in the family Syrphidae, also known as a Flower Fly or Hover Fly, but we do not believe it is
Toxomerus marginatus.  We applaud you for attempting to self identify your Flower Fly, and the reason your letter caught our attention is that you used a scientific name in the subject line of your email, and it was a name we did not recognize.  We do believe you have correctly identified the subfamily Syrphinae which is the same subfamily that includes the Common Oblique Syrphid Fly, Allograpta obliqua, which we believe looks like a closer match to the markings on your individual.  If you compare images of Toxomerus marginatus on BugGuide with images of Allograpta obliqua on BugGuide, we think you will agree with our correction.  This image on BugGuide shows the markings quite clearly.  Syrphidae is a large and confusing family with many members that look remarkably alike, so we want to say again that we commend your efforts at self identification because we know how much time it can take to sort through the countless images posted to BugGuide.
P.S.  In formatting the images for this posting, we realized that you have submitted other Syrphid Flies to us in the past, including a
Eristalinus taeniops in January and a possible Copestylum marginatum in June.  Your photos are excellent, so please keep sending us images of Syrphid Flies or other bugs that you might find that would interest our readers.

Common Oblique Syrphid Fly

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for helping me with this.  Maybe one day I will get one correct!  Also, many thanks for the compliments and encouragement.
Anna

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Black and yellow bug
Location:  Willis, Texas
August 2, 2010 6:48 pm
Beginning of August. Very hot. 50 miles north of Houston, Texas. This bug flew into our garage and my wife swatted it.
tom2087

Yellowjacket Hover Fly swatted unnecessarily

Dear tom2087,
This is a Yellowjacket Hover Fly,
Milesia virginiensis.  It is one of the Syrphid Flies in the family Syrphidae, commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  Many species in the family mimic bees and wasps.  The adult Yellowjacket Hover Fly feeds on nectar and pollen from plants like Queen Anne’s Lace, and it will also be attracted to the blooms of related plants in the garden like parsley, dill and carrots.  You may read more about the Yellowjacket Hover Fly on BugGuide, including this tidbit gleaned from AllExperts.com:  “Flies aggressively and buzzes like a hornet. In the southern United States, sometimes called the news bee or good news bee for its habit of hovering in front of a person and ‘giving them the news’. It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do.“  There is no mention of swatting a Yellowjacket Hover Fly to bring good luck.  The Yellowjacket Hover Fly is a benign insect that will not bite nor sting.  People often react to loudly buzzing insects by swatting them, and it is part of our mission to educate the public because many beneficial and benign insects are killed unnecessarily just because they are frightening looking and the person feels threatened, so we are archiving your letter and image in our Unnecessary Carnage section.

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Request: Bumble Bee Mimics
July 16, 2010
Location:  North Middle Tennessee
Hi Daniel,
Here are a couple of bee mimics the first two I believe is a ”Robber Fly” I was going to include a bumblebee for comparison, but it just didn’t look right. After doing a bit of searching online I now belive it to be a ”Syrphid Fly” I now wonder just how many of the things buzzing around the yard are actually ”Bumblebees” (Will just let the critters figure it out for themselves) Thank You and have a wonderful day.
Richard

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Hi Richard,
Your photo of the Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus Laphria is excellent for the genus identification.  It shows the thicker antennae of the genus Laprhia which differ from the antennae that are thin and threadlike at the final segment in the genus
Mallophora.  We believe this may be Laphria thoracica, based on the photos and the range indicated on BugGuide. I agree that the second fly is a Syrphid Fly in the family Syrphidae.  I got a bit dizzy going through all the possibilities on BugGuide, but I believe your specimen is probably in the subfamily Eristalinae based on images posted to BugGuide.  Characteristics of your specimen like the coloration, smooth black abdomen, and fuzzy yellow thorax are quite distinctive and should make identification relatively easy, but we remain without luck in that arena.

Unknown Syrphid Fly

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Bug ID Please
June 13, 2010
I work at the Conservancy on Bald Head Island (a Barrier Island off the coast of NC) and I am an avid photographer. I am contemplating creating a field guide for the island so i’d love positive id’s on some of these bugs. I took these pictures this summer. I feel bad sending so many seperate questions so this one has three different bugs including a spider and some sort of stick bug.
Andrew Niccum
Bald Head Island, NC

Hover Fly

Dear Andrew,
Your multiple letters with multiple identification requests each have arrived on the cusp of our preparations to leave the offices for a week to visit with family in Ohio.  Alas, we are unable to comply with your numerous requests at this time.  We are posting your photo of a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, though we haven’t the time right now for researching a conclusive identification.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply an answer.  Since we will be away, we will not be answering any emails, but you are free to peruse our archives for your identification requests.  You can also browse the Syrphidae images on BugGuide to try to identify this species.  This angle of view may make identification difficult.  A dorsal view is generally preferred, though some insects are more easily identified with a lateral view.  The spider image attached to this email is a Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira.

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Bee Fly – Villa sp?
June 11, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I think I have this fly identified as being in the Bombyliidae family, specifically Villa sp. Am I correct? Thanks for your help!
Anna Carreon
Hawthorne, California

Hover Fly

Hi Anna,
Though your fly looks like a bee, it is not a bee fly.  It is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  We have matched it to an image on BugGuide, also from California, that is identified only as the genus Copestylum.  We believe it most resembles Copestylum marginatum, but all the images on BugGuide appear to be females.  Your fly is a male as evidenced by the closeness of his eyes.  Females have a space between the eyes.

Hover Fly

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Didn’t survive the hot stove…
May 16, 2010
I thought the huge eyes would be a dead, pardon the pun, giveaway, but I couldn’t locate anything that faintly resembled this bug.  Hoping you can help me identify this one…
R.G. Marion
Great Smoky Mountains
Tennessee

Syrphid Fly

Dear R.G,
This is some species of Syrphid Fly in the family Syrphidae.  Syrphid Flies are commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  We haven’t the time to search the extensive archives on BugGuide to properly identify the species right now.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination