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

Bee looking fly.
October 12, 2009
Found this summer during August and during the day.
Jonathan Campos
Los Angeles, CA.

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Hi Jonathan,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  We have matched it to the species Eristalinus taeniops by comparing your images to photos posted to BugGuide.  The species is only listed in California according to BugGuide.

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Deep Blue flying insect
October 11, 2009
Bugman,
I saw this gorgeous thing here in Souther California on the first of October this year. It is over an inch long with a heavy body, fast flyer and able to hover easily although it didn’t stay still for very long.
Any Ideas?
Mark Houck
High in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

Mexican Cactus Fly

Mexican Cactus Fly

Hi Mark,
Your photos don’t have the necessary details to make any identification a certainty, however, since we also live in the Los Angeles area and we have seen the Mexican Cactus Fly, Copestylum mexicanum, in our own garden, we are guessing that it is probably the insect you photographed.  The Mexican Cactus Fly is one of the Flower Flies or Hover Flies in the family Syrphidae.  According to Charles Hogue in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “This is a giant member of the flower fly family (its body length is 5/8 to 3/4 in, or 15 to 20 mm), with a shiny smooth purplish-black body.”  Hogue also writes:  “the larvae are large … pale cylindrical maggots that feed in the rotting, soupy interior of dead and decaying tissues of cacti.”  You may also see numerous images of stationery specimens posted to BugGuide.

Mexican Cactus Fly

Mexican Cactus Fly

Many thanks. The insect I saw seemed to have a brighter coloring, but everything else looks the same.
Wow- they’re big!
Thanks again.

Mark

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery bug on milkweed
July 28, 2009
I live in the Houston area. I am finding these strange larva on my tropical milkweed – along with the ever-present aphids. I don’t know whether to squish them or protect them. Are they good or bad?
Sherrie
Houston, TX

Syrphid Fly Larvae eat Oleander Aphids

Syrphid Fly Larvae eat Oleander Aphids

Hi Sherrie,
These Syrphid Fly larvae are predators in the family Syrphidae that are feeding on the Aphids.  The adult flies are sometimes called Flower Flies or Hover Flies and they are pollinating insects.  We don’t know exactly what genus or species your Syrphid Fly Larvae belong to, but they should not be squished.  Here is a link to the Syrphid Fly Larvae posted on BugGuide.
The Aphids are Oleander Aphids, Aphis nerii, and they are common on Milkweed.  They infest our outdoor Hoya species in Los Angeles.  You can read more about the Oleander Aphid on BugGuide as well.

Update:
syrphid larvae
April 25, 2010
Oh my gosh! Thank you for this website! I went out with a wet papertowel to remove the hundreds of aphids on my Japanese Maple and saw these little worms/catapillars on my tree. I decided to look them up before removing them because it looked like they were eating the aphids. I found the answer real easy by Googling “aphid eating worms” and you were the first site that popped up. YAY! Thank you for this service and saving the syrphid : )
Lorraine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hoverflys mating in flight
Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 9:43 PM
Hi guys,
Just spotted a hoverfly in the garden that was staying very much in the one spot so grabbed the camera and turned out to be this pair in mating flight.. Sorry the top guy is not real sharp around the head, ID is Common Hover Fly – Ischiodon scutellaris. Thought you might like them for the buglove pages
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Hover Flies Aerial Mating

Hover Flies Aerial Mating

Hi Trevor,
What an amazing and romantic photograph.  Thanks for providing our readership with a species identification as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bee like Fly
Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 7:23 PM
Every day I walk by a hedge coming out of my front door and always notice bees flying around collecting pollen and nectar, you know, their daily chores. Every now and then I notice a strange pollen or nectar collector as in the picture of the one I have sent you. It appears more like a fly but behaves like a bee. He has very short antennae and an odd mandible looking mouth just under the eyes. I have also attached a second pic showing a honey bee to provide a scale of his size. I live in southern California out near the Ventura coast and it has been quite a warm winter this year and even now, the flowers are blooming everywhere and the bees are a buzzin. I know there are several species of flies that behave like bees and this must be one of them.
Bee-wildered
Southern California

Drone Fly

Syrphid Fly

Hi Bee-Wildered,
We believe your fly is a Drone Fly, Eristalis tenax, one of the flower loving flies in the family Syrphidae. Sadly, the angle of your photograph adds a bit of uncertainty to the identification. Drone Flies are excellent Honey Bee mimics. Drone Flies are perfectly harmless and do not sting nor bite.

Correction: From Eric Eaton
The “drone fly” from southern California is indeed a syrphid, but in the genus Copestylum. Without the specimen I can’t give a species.
Eric

Update: Syrphid
Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 6:16 PM
I wanted to thank you for your prompt help with the information on my ‘Bee-wilderment’. I was able to go onto the BugGuide site and from their pictures I was able to determine that my fly is of the Species Copestylum avidum. I have attached another picture that might confirm this but it is slightly out of focus.
Thanks again…..!
Bee-wildered
Ventura, CA

Syrphid Fly

Syrphid Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

yellow jacket look alike? Fly or hornet?
Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 5:29 AM
This should be a bee or hornet but the eyes and antennae made me wonder. Comparing to v. squamosa there are a lot of differences. This was on a garden flower in Berkeley CA in November, 2008.
Joe Halloran
Berkeley CA

Syrphid Fly

Syrphid Fly

Hi Joe,
This is actually a fly in the family Syrphidae, the Syrphid Flies, also known as Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  We believe it is in the genus Epistrophe based on images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination