Currently viewing the category: "Wood Flies"
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Subject: It’s THE FLY!!
Location: Toledo District, Belize
December 19, 2014 1:19 pm
Howdy, fellow bug fans,
I took this photo just before Halloween, but never had good enough internet to get it off for your help in ID’ing it. I’d never seen one before and haven’t seen one since.
Pretty cool.
Thanks.
Signature: Tanya

Probably Robber Fly

Timber Fly

Dear Tanya,
This fly sure looks predatory, which makes us speculate it is probably in the family Asilidae, the Robber Flies and Deer Flies.  It really resembles this image of a Timber Fly,
Pantophthalmus cf. pictus from Costa Rica that is posted to Piotr Naskrecki’s The Smaller Majority website.  According to Piotr:  “Timber flies are a small family, consisting of only 2 genera and 22 species, all found in the lowland rainforests of Central and South America. In addition to their unholy size they differ from other flies in that their larvae are wood burrowers, something that traditionally has been the domain of longhorns and other beetles. There are other flies that feed on wood (some Syrphidae and Asilidae), but those are incapable of drilling their own tunnels in the wood and can only use those already created by beetles or other insects.  Little is known about the behavior of adult timber flies. Nobody is really sure if they feed at this stage, and if so, on what. They have never been seen mating, although oviposition has been observed. Females have a long, telescopic ovipositor, which they use to deposit eggs in the cracks of dead and live wood, depending on the species. These insects are not common.”  This is only the third Timber Fly we have posted to our site.  We will try to contact Piotr to verify that identification.

Probably Robber Fly

Timber Fly

Piotr Naskrecki confirms genus identification
Hi Daniel,
Yes, it is definitely Pantophthalmus, and it does look similar to pictus.
Cheers,
Piotr

Thanks, Daniel,
We live in a heavily forested area in Belize, so this ID makes lots of sense.  It’s great to keep discovering new-to-us life forms in a place where we’ve lived for a long time.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge “fly” in Peru
Location: Peru
February 15, 2014 8:17 am
My husband took this picture of an insect in the rain forest of Peru. It is about 3 inches from eye to the end of it’s “stinger-like” tail. I am having a hard time finding the right direction to identify it. He is enjoying the huge variety of insects he is seeing down there on his business trip!
Signature: Wendy

Giant Timber Fly

Timber Fly

Hi Wendy,
This is only the second time we have received an image of a Giant Wood Fly or Timber Fly in the family Pantophthalmidae, genus
Pantophthalmus.  We originally misidentified it as a Horse Fly.  It is our understanding that this is the bulkiest fly in the world, and you can see an image on Diptera Info held in a human hand for size comparison.  More information can be found on Bug Spotlight of the UC Riverside Department of Entomology.

Thanks you so much for your fast response! I am forwarding that to him down there and tell him to keep snapping the pictures. Next time he wants to bring a better camera!
I attached a silkmoth and a giant long horned beetle picture, for your interest.
Thanks again Daniel,
Wendy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant True Fly
Location: Tortuguero, Costa Rica
May 21, 2013 2:31 pm
Hi Bugman,
I live in the coastal rainforest of Costa Rica and find all kinds of large and interesting bugs on a regular basis, but this was pretty impressive. I’m guessing she’s a female because there appears to be an ovipositor, but I don’t know much about Diptera. Hoping you can help!
Signature: Jennifer

Horse Fly

Timber Fly

Hi Jennifer,
WOW, that is some big Horse Fly in the family Tabanidae.  In addition to the ovipositor, you can tell she is a female because of the spacing between her eyes.  Male Horse Flies have no spacing between the eyes.  You Horse Fly looks somewhat similar to the mounted image of
Myiotabanus muscoideus pictured on Sciency Thoughts, and that species is found from Mexico and Guatemala according to the site.  We have not been able to locate anything definite regarding the identification of your distinctly large Horse Fly, but perhaps one of our readers will have better luck.

Horse Fly

Timber Fly

Update:  January 21, 2014
Thanks to a comment from James, we now know that this is a Giant Wood Fly or Timber Fly in the family Pantophthalmidae, genus
Pantophthalmus.  We located a matching photo on P-Base and on Panama Silvestre.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination