… are a type of march fly (not a true but, but indeed a fly, despite the common name), found in the southeast US and parts of Central America.
They get their common name from their mating behavior - pairs remained coupled for up to days at a time during copulation. Males are smaller than females, but have larger eyes that perhaps help them better locate a mate.
The adults emerge in large flights in late spring and late summer, which may number hundreds of thousands over the course of a few weeks, though individuals only live for a few days each. These swarms often occur in roadside habitats, becoming a nuisance to motorists when they hit the windshield.
Adults feed on nectar during their brief lifespan; the larvae feed on decaying vegetation.
photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife (MyFWCmedia) on Flickr
…is a species of robber fly (Asilidae) that occurs throughout Central Africa. Like other robber flies this species is a mimic of bees, with it sporting a coloration similar to Carpenter bees of the genus Xylocopa. It likely uses this coloration to allow its self to get closer to its prey, which most likely consists mainly of bees and other insects, which are taken in flight.
Saw this little fly on my orange peel in Burbank, California (southern) when I startled him he “flexed” his wings and they turned horizontally and he had a fuzzy bottom. He wasn’t very timid and he was a little smaller than the average fly… Any idea what he could be?
Oh, I have some idea :) It’s a Mediterranean Fruit Fly aka Medfly (Ceratitis capitata). As the name would suggest, it’s originally from the area around the Mediterranean, but has been introduced into the United States (as well as other parts of the world).
…a species bumblebee mimicking robber fly that is native to the eastern United States. Like other robber flies this species is an active predator and will prey on bees, wasps, and other insects which are usually caught mid-flight. After the prey is caught the fly will consume it by sucking its insides out!
…is a species of wasp-mimicking syrphid fly that occurs in North America from Minnesota to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia. As previously mentioned S.fusca is a wasp-mimic and mimics the aggressive Bald-faced Hornet (D.maculata) likely to avoid predation from other predators. S.fusca is mainly active from June through September and is often seen visiting Parsnip (P.satvia), Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) and Virgin’s Bower (C.virginiana) where it will feed on their pollen and nectar.
A tiny long-legged fly ( family Dolichopodidae), about 1/8 inch long. These small flies have such good reaction times that every time I tried to take a picture, they would jump out of the way after the camera shutter opened but before the flash went off, so it took like a hundred attempts before this one finally decided to stand still.
I found it in my front yard in central Ohio. Thanks!
This is a cranefly (family Tipulidae), and I’m no expert at identifying craneflies, but I’m going to go with Giant Cranefly, Tipula abdominalis. They are harmless to humans, as they feed on flower nectar and other plant fluids.
hey paxon, any idea what this little guy is? i found it on a rock about 200 metres from the sea on the isle of skye in western scotland, any thoughts?
This is a March fly (family Bibionidae), in the genus Bibio, the flies in this genus are sometimes referred to as "Red-legged Flies". I’m thinking that this is probably the Heather fly (B. pomonae), which does occur widespread through much of Scotland. The large eyes indicate that this is a male.
“Mosquitoes commute between blood-meal hosts and water… One of the possible strategies of malaria control is to identify local vector species and then attack water bodies that contain their larvae.”
This animal, the Southern house mosquito, is more important for Fiariasis (in India) and West Nile virus (in North America) but the principle is the same. The tactics surrounding mosquito-borne disease control must take into account the relative positions of potential bloodmeals (us) and suitable egg-laying habitat (standing water).
Hi there! I was wondering if you could ID this bug for me! I live in Memphis, TN and this guy was buzzing around very loudly (and blindly) and it honestly freaked me out quite a bit, so I killed it…I’ve never seen such a bug before, so naturally I’m curious as to what it is! Thank you!
This is a Robberfly (family Asilidae), probably on of the “Hanging Thieves” in the genus Diogmites, though I’m no expert in Robberflies, and they’re hard to ID, if their not in hand.
Robberflies use their sharp proboscis to pierce their prey and inject a venomous saliva that immobilizes them and then liquifies their insides, which they suck up :3 They eat a wide variety of insects, sometimes even large predatory insects, like dragonflies and wasps.
Though they have no reason to attack people, they will deliver a painful “bite”, if handled.