Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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Is this Merodon equestris var. equestris?
May 4, 2010
I am pretty sure that this is Merodon equestris and I WAS pretty sure that it is variation equestris, but I read somewhere that this species ALWAYS has black legs.
Mine has whitish blots on it’s legs (and the wing veins seem lighter than those on specimens I found images of on the internet).
Can you help me out?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Enmos
The Netherlands

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Dear Enmos,
WE were not familiar with this species, so we checked BugGuide.  Merodon equestris, the Narcissus Bulb Fly, is listed on BugGuide, but its origin is not listed.  Wikipedia indicates it is European.  BugGuide indicates a vein pattern that resembles a sock, but alas, none of your excellent images shows this feature.

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Sadly, we haven’t the time at the moment to research the subspecies.  YOur excellent images are a wonderful addition to our site.

Narcissus Bulb Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bee/Fly with Yellow Striped Eyes?
March 30, 2010
Saw this on the patio a couple days ago. Thought it was a bee at first, but the yellow striped eyes were pronounced. It’s about the size of a common bee or fly. Do you have any idea what this might be or what would cause the markings on the eyes?
Kyle B.
Long Beach, California

Flower Fly

Dear Kyle,
Though it resembles a bee, your fly is not a Bee Fly.  It is a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  The species Eristalinus taeniops, is only reported from California on BugGuide.

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Alien Grub Thingy
March 10, 2010
I was out at about 2am this morning and couldn’t sleep.As I was walking along the sidewalk I heard a pop and looked down to see that there were about 5-7 of these things squirming on the concrete, and I unknowingly stepped on one. I decided to get a closer look so I shined my flashlight on it and it was a very pale caterpillar looking life form, I did not see any visible eyes or mouth on it, but what I did see once I attempted to pick it up was what struck me as being very alien. No sooner than i grabbed one up from the sidewalk a long almost lizard like tail popped out of what I guess is the back of the grub, the tail would move around and it wrapped itself around my finger, sparking my curiosity even further.So I brought it inside and took pictures and a small video of it.What I want to know is, could this possibly be a cicada larvae, or a small scale alien invasion?
Josh Hamblin
Springfield, MO

Rat Tailed Maggot

Hi Josh,
This is the larva of a Drone Fly and it is commonly called a Rat Tailed Maggot.

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bee or fly
March 8, 2010
Hello,
I am writing to you from an American military base in Kuwait. I am in pest management and would like to calm the fears of my fellow military members. Recently we have had a large number of flying insects that appear to be bees but i believe they are flies. They have been hanging out on shaded walls to stay out of the heat. They do not behave like bees they only look similar to bees. They range in size from 1/4″ to 1/2″.
Leslie B
Kuwait

Flower Fly

Hi Leslie,
We mean no disrespect in writing this, but we believe that there are far greater threats to our brave military men and women in Kuwait than either bees or flies, and we hope that there is a strong support system for calming their fears regarding bombs, missiles and bullets.  This is a fly, and we believe it is a harmless Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group that has numerous members that mimic stinging insects.  For the record, in the scheme of things worldwide, Flies would generally be a cause of greater concern than bees whose stings are temporarily painful, but cause no lasting harm except in the case of severe allergies.  On the other hand, Flies, which include Mosquitoes, often bite and they can be serious disease vectors, especially in warmer climates.   Malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and sleeping sickness are all spread by the bites of mosquitoes and flies, and diseases like typhoid fever, anthrax, leprosy, cholera, conjunctivitis, tuberculosis, dysentery and diarrhea can be spread through contact with the Common House Fly.  Your Flower Fly, we are pleased to report, is benign and no cause for alarm
.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for your quick response and your honest words.  Thankfully not many bombs, missiles, or bullets flying in Kuwait but yes we have support and preparation to face the human threat if it presents itself.  It is odd but true that some fear the insects so fiercely.
After spending some time researching on your website I was able to form an educated guess that it was from the Syrphidae family, and indeed mimicking a bee.  I appreciate your email confirming my suspicions.
I appreciate you stressing the medical importance of the fly as I have spent the majority of my time over the last 3 months battling the common fly and hope the upcoming 100 degree plus weather will greatly assist me in the matter of controlling the pest.  I may be the only one on base praying for higher temperatures.
Thank you again for your assistance and no disrespect was taken.

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These were coughed up out of a rainbow trout I recently caught
March 8, 2010
A friend of mine recently caught a rainbow trout that coughed these up when he landed the fish. Any idea what they are. They are it a shot glass for sizing scale.
anonymous
Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Rat Tailed Maggots

Dear anonymous,
These Rat Tailed Maggots are the aquatic larvae of the Drone Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bee Fly or Kanye West Imitator?
January 26, 2010
Hi Daniel,
Here I am again with a bug I can’t identify. My first thought is that is was a bee, but maybe it’s a bee fly instead? It didn’t hover around between flowers like a regular honey bee, and when it left the plant, it flew fast and straight right past my ear. I didn’t notice a bee’s buzz when this happened. Any ideas?
Thanks, Anna
Hawthorne, California

Syrphid Fly

Hi Anna,
Though it very closely mimics a Honey Bee, your fly, Eristalinus taeniops, is actually a Syrphid Fly in the family Syrphidae.  Syrphid Flies are also known as Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  According to BugGuide, your Syrphid Fly has only been reported from California.

Syrphid Fly

Daniel,
As usual, thank you so very much.  I did look around at whatsthatbug.com and at bugguide.net and didn’t find anything.  Glad to know that I’m getting better at figuring out the difference between bees and their imitating fly counterparts.
Anna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination