Subject: Fairy Fly
Location: Orlando, FL
February 7, 2014 6:24 pm
I found this cool little Fairy Fly while going through a trap sample today at work, and I took the opportunity to take a size comparison photo with a grain of sand. I noticed that there aren’t many Fairy Fly photos up on What’s That Bug, so I thought I’d submit the little guy.
Thanks so much for sending us your photo of a Fairy Fly, the common name for a Parasitic Hymenopteran in the family Mymaridae which are classified with the Chalcid Wasps. As you indicated, we only have a single, very old image of a Fairy Fly in our archives. According to BugGuide, Fairy Flies parasitize the eggs of other insects and they are: “Fairly characteristic in habitus and do not closely resemble any other chalcidoids. The most easily observable characters are(2):
stalked, narrowly elongate hindwing
long clubbed female antennae (filiform in males)
greatly reduced venation which terminates within the first third of the wing (except in Arescon and Krokella)
no discernible stigmal or postmarginal vein
tarsi may be 4- or 5-segmented
antennal toruli widely separated
vertex surrounded by thickened bands of cuticle and separated from the face by a suture.” While we don’t fully understand all of that, we are providing the information for our readers.