Currently viewing the category: "Syrphid Flies"
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Subject: Wasp or vespa cadro
Location: Forest of Dean United Kingdom
July 18, 2017 11:23 pm
What’s this please
Signature: Haydee

Hornet Mimic Hover Fly

Dear Haydee,
This is neither, though it is a very effective mimic.  This is a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and as you can see from the British Hoverflies site, many species are very effective mimics of stinging bees and wasps, which serves as an effective form of protective coloration for this harmless flies that are beneficial pollinators.  We believe your individual is a female (space between eyes)
Volucella zonaria based on images posted to British Hoverflies.  According to NatureSpot:  “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. It is chestnut on tergite 2 and also on the scutellum and much of the thorasic dorsum.”  NatureSpot 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.”  iNaturalist calls it the Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.

Thank you so much I’ve had everyone guessing on social media.. Great to know so I can give feedback xx

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Subject: A Half Transparent Fly?
Location: East Rounton, North Yorkshire, UK
July 17, 2017 11:18 am
Hello, Do you know what type of fly this is? I can’t find it on Google nor on your website.
It’s abdomen was half transparent and half black.
Signature: AG

Great Pied Hoverfly

Dear AG,
Based on images posted to Insects of Scotland, we are confident that this is a Great Pied Hoverfly,
Volucella pellucens.  The Insects of Scotland states:  “A very large shiny bumble bee-like  hoverfly with an unusual half black half white abdomen and black legs. The white stripe across its abdomen can be all white with just a hint of black in the middle … or the white can be dissected with a black line …. The wings are mainly clear, but each one has a dark patch on it. It lays its eggs inside the nests of wasps and bees where the larvae scavenge. “  It is also pictured on Nature Spot.

Thanks for writing back Daniel. I’m very impressed with your findings and appreciate the help you gave to me.
I learned something new today!
Thanks again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee-like fly
Location: Southwest PA
July 12, 2017 2:14 pm
Please identify this bug. We just started seeing them around our house
Signature: Sheesh

Hover Fly

Dear Sheesh,
This identification is proving to be a challenge for us, but we believe we are on the right track.  We quickly eliminated the Beyonce Fly, which is a Horse Fly from Australia that has gotten much press lately, including on NBC News and Huffington Post.  The wing vein pattern seems to indicate this is a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae as indicated on Microscopy UK.  We found several Hover Flies on BugGuide with gold butts, including this BugGuide image of a Narcissus Bulb Fly, but there are no black markings on the wings, and the antennae are not plumose.  When we stumbled on the Bug of the Week site, we finally found a furry Hover Fly with feathery antennae,
Volucella bombylans, and though this is a British site, we knew this genus is represented in North America, so we decided to research on BugGuide, and this is where things get confusing since BugGuide states:  “represented in our area by 3 spp., but the European V. bombylans does not occur in the New World” but all North American sightings are classified as “Species Volucella bombylans-complex.”  There are examples of British Volucella bombylans that are posted to Nature Spot and FlickR.  So, it is our conclusion that we have the genus correct, and this is either a member of the North American Volucella bombylans-complex or it is an introduced British Volucella bombylans. We hope to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.  BugGuide also indicates that the genus is “under revision.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Bathroom
July 10, 2017 3:04 am
Over the last couple of days I found two of these in the bath tub now another one on bathroom rug. I have scowerd the internet trying to identify this as would like to understand where it could be coming from. It has no legs. I’d be surprised if they entering through the high up bathroom window. Then I thought they coming through plug hole… but now I find one on the floor I’m not so sure. Would love to know if you can help. Many thanks. Jelena
Signature: Jels

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Dear Jels,
The identification is easy, but your other theoretical questions are not quite as easy.  This is a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly, and according to BugGuide:  “larvae of most feed on decaying organic debris. They are filter feeders in different kinds of aquatic media. They purify water by filtering microorganisms and other products.”  Since we don’t know where your bathroom is located:  on the 37th floor of a high rise, in a basement, in Singapore or in New York, speculating on the point of entry is questionable, but we suspect they are breeding in your drain.  If you are connected to a septic tank, this is even more likely.  We suspect these Rat-Tailed Maggots are now seeking a drier environment so they can initiate pupation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: death valley bee
Location: Darwin Falls, west of Death Valley National Park, CA
March 24, 2017 6:50 pm
Can you identify this bee (or fly)? I think the flower it is on is a Desert Gold (Geraea canescens) bush located in the western side of Death Valley National Park, near the Panamint Resort area.
Signature: Bonnie Borucki

Flower Fly

Dear Bonnie,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and many members of the family mimic bees and wasps for protection.  Harmless insects benefit from being confused with stinging insects.  We imagine you were in Death Valley during the peak bloom.  We are jealous.

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Subject: Mystery bug on garage door
Location: Fullerton, CA
February 5, 2017 7:54 pm
Please solve our big mystery. I ve tried going to several bug sites to identify this thing to no avail. Can you please step in?
Signature: Greg Castro

Hover Fly

Dear Greg,
We believe we have correctly identified your Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae as
 Fazia (Allograpta) micrura thanks to the images posted to the Natural History of Orange County, California page.  Many harmless members of the family mimic stinging bees and wasps as a defense mechanism against predators.

Thank you so much for the speedy reply! Much appreciated!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination