Subject: Soldier Fly–Hedriodiscus Varipes
Location: Wilderness State Park, Michigan
July 5, 2014 7:25 pm
Hello! Sorry I’ve missed a couple of days; I’ve been busy doing research. I’m sure y’all are busy as well! Today, I’ve brought you a soldier fly which I think I’ve got pinned down as Hedriodiscus varipes. The pattern on the head is pretty distinct for this species compared to other Hedriodiscuses–but what really confirms it for me is that Bugguide only has one picture of this species, taken back in 2007, in Wilderness State Park in Michigan… which is exactly where I found my specimen. (Bugguide does note that the species are hard to distinguish, but the genus is right, anyway.) It was very interested in these flowers, avidly dabbing at them with its tongue. This is a very large fly–the size of a horse fly, easily.
This fly is positively gorgeous, both in color and in markings, and we are quite certain its impressive size added to its beauty. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are aquatic” so they are most likely always found near a habitable water source.