February 11, 2014 1:21 am
Seen yesterday. It was as long as a bluebottle blowfly, but slenderer in the body (the abdomen tapered to a small tip). A strong and active flyer. There were 2 particularly distinctive things about it; (1) it had white ‘toes’ (the 2 flat lobes at the end of each leg), and (2) it often ‘whined’ while sitting at rest (the whine was very similar to the sound a mason wasp makes when building its mud nest). It reminded me of the kelp flies that used to occasionally swarm in vast numbers against the house windows at night (near the coast), only it was bigger. The top of its thorax and its head looked like a 3-lined hoverfly, but it had a different body shape.
which cambridge? UK or Massachusetts or other?
New Zealand mate. I hastily sent the message before I realised it was a USA-based website (I thought it was NZ).
Thanks for the clarification Chris. Though our offices are based in Los Angeles, California, we do consider ourselves to be a global reference source for “bugs” from around the world. We are posting your submission as unidentified while we continue to research the identity of your fly.
Karl provides some research: March 20, 2014
Hi Daniel and Chris:
I looks like a Striped Flower Fly (Orthoprosopa bilineata); Family Syrphidae and Subfamily Eristalinae. The site for the Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network (T.E.R:R.A.I.N) has several excellent images. The species is native to New Zealand and found nowhere else. Regards. Karl