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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Diptera: the true flies — Examples

Families represented below:
Asilidae (the robber flies)
Bibionidae (the March flies)
Bombyliidae (the bee flies)
Calliphoridae (the blow, carrion, bottle and cluster flies)
Cecidomyiidae (the gall midges and wood midges)
Chironomidae (the midges)
Culicidae (the mosquitoes)
Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies)
Limoniidae (the limoniid crane flies)
Micropezidae (the stilt-legged flies)
Muscidae (the house flies, stable flies, and others)
Mycetophilidae (the fungus gnats)
Neriidae (the cactus flies or banana-stalk flies)
Oestridae (the bot flies, warble flies and gadflies)
Pediciidae (the hairy-eyed crane flies)
Psychodidae (the filter flies)
Ptychopteridae (the phantom crane flies)
Rhagionidae (the snipe flies)
Sarcophagidae (the scavenger flies)
Sciaridae (the dark-winged fungus gnats)
Sepsidae (the black scavenger flies)
Stratiomyidae (the soldier flies)
Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies)
Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies)
Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies)
Tipulidae (the crane flies)


Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies)

Syrphid Fly
Hover fly (no common name), Palpada mexicana, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Some syrphid flies in the genus Eristalis look quite similar to this species in the Palpada genus.
Photographed and identified by: Joyce Salazar. Location: Imperial Beach, California, USA. Date: 2 August, 2017.
Sarcophagid fly
Hover fly (no common name), Palpada furcata, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ What a beautiful pattern on the thorax!
Photographed and identified to order by: Mike Bloodsworth. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Mike’s full-size image here. Location: Smith County, Texas, USA. Date: 13 July, 2012.
Hover Fly
Hover flies (no common name), Toxomerus marginatus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ That abdomen looks as if it was painted by an artist.
Photographed and identified by: Eugene Quail. Location: Section 6, Nottawa Twp., Isabella County, MI, Michigan, USA. Date: 16 July, 2015.
Common Oblique Syrphid
Common Oblique Syrphid, Allograpta obliqua, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Yet another hover fly with a gorgeously patterned abdomen!
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 December, 2016.
Common Oblique Syrphid
Common Oblique Syrphid, Allograpta obliqua, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Take a close look to see the spongy mouthparts (the “tongue”).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 December, 2016.
Hover Fly
Hover fly (no common name), Melangyna cincta, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
Photographed and identified by: Yvonne Ugarte. Yvonne wasn’t sure of her identification, but she was right! Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Date: 17 October, 2016.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, possibly Yellow-Shouldered Stout Hoverfly (also known as Common Hoverfly), Simosyrphus grandicornis, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
Photographed by: Ajay Antony. Identified tentatively by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tamilnadu, India. Date: 13 May, 2017.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, possibly Yellow-Shouldered Stout Hoverfly (also known as Common Hoverfly), Simosyrphus grandicornis, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ A hoverfly hovering — how appropriate!
Photographed by: Ajay Antony. Identified tentatively by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tamilnadu, India. Date: 13 May, 2017.
Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ There are a number of hoverflies in different genera with this comma-shaped pattern on the abdomen.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified by: Jeff Skevington, Ph.D., a syrphid specialist from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Thank you, Dr. Skevington! Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 26 August, 2017.
Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Zoom into the eye on this fly to see that its eye is covered with hair. That is a characteristic of this species.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 8 April, 2017.
Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Caught in flight!
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 April, 2017.
Hoverfly (genus Syrphus)
Hoverfly in the genus Syrphus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ The photographer posits that this may be either the species Syrphus ribesii or Syrphus vitripennis. KnowYourInsects.org checked with hoverfly specialist Jeff Skevington of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, but he could not positively identify it beyond the genus.
Photographed and identified as the genus Syrphus by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Marmalade Hoverflies are beneficial three ways. First, the larvae (maggots) eat aphids, which can become pests in a garden. Second, they pollinate many plants. Third, they are a delight to see with that distinctive banding.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
Photographed by: Bill Flor. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Los Alamos County (7,500 ft. elevation), New Mexico, USA. Date: 22 March, 2015. Bill says he took this photo of the bee on an early-spring flowering tree (two months before official frost-free date).
Hoverfly (Epistrophe eligans)
Hoverfly Epistrophe eligans, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Some members of this species have an obvious black and yellow stripe across the abdomen, but others (like this one) have a couple of faint yellow triangles on each side of the abdomen.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 17 September, 2017. Bryan took this shot in his garden.
Rat-tailed maggots
Rat-tailed maggots, the larvae of certain flies in the family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ They may not have the most beautiful common name in rat-tailed maggots, but it is appropriate!
Photographed by: S. F. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Alberta, Canada. Date: 28 July, 2016. S. F. says, “My husband is trying to build a pond using an old bath tub. Today I found these nasty creatures swimming in it.... My kids — both boys — think it’s gross but so neat. LOL!”
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Oestridae (the bot flies, warble flies and gadflies)

Tree Squirrel Bot Fly (<i>Chrysopilus thoracicus</i>)
Tree Squirrel Bot Fly, Cuterebra emasculator, family Oestridae (the bot flies, warble flies and gadflies).
□ The photographer of this insect christened it the “emoji bug” and it’s easy to see why — what a cute mug on this fly! See the next photo for a full-body photo. Weirdly, the scientific species name of “emasculator” comes from the mistaken belief long ago that the fly larvae (the maggots) would eat the testes of male chipmunks and squirrels. Yikes! Good thing that’s not true!
Photographed by: David Price. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tweed, Ontario, Canada. Date: 6 August, 2012.
Tree Squirrel Bot Fly (<i>Chrysopilus thoracicus</i>)
Tree Squirrel Bot Fly, Cuterebra emasculator, family Oestridae (the bot flies, warble flies and gadflies).
□ The young larvae (the maggots) of this fly get inside chipmunks and squirrels through the mouth or nose (or another opening such as a wound). Once inside, the larvae migrate to a spot under the skin, and a sac-like outgrowth — called a warble — forms. Once the larva grows large enough, it exits the warble, drops to the ground, and continues its development: first into a pupa and then into an adult (as seen here).
Photographed by: David Price. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tweed, Ontario, Canada. Date: 6 August, 2012.
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Rhagionidae (the snipe flies)
Stratiomyidae (the soldier flies)


Golden-backed snipe fly (<i>Chrysopilus thoracicus</i>)
Golden-Backed Snipe Fly, Chrysopilus thoracicus, family Rhagionidae (the snipe flies).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Add your photo here! Green gem  fly
Green Gem, Microchrysa flavicornis, female, family Stratiomyidae (the soldier flies).
Photographed by: Yvonne Ugarte. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Date: 27 June, 2016. Yvonne says, “I am very interested in insects and spiders, and this particular insect briefly landed on my jacket today. Just long enough to take a photograph.”

Bombyliidae (the bee flies)

Fuzzy Bee Fly (<i>Anastoechus spp</i>)
Fuzzy Bee Fly in the genus Anastoechus, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
□ With all that fuzz, this fly looks downright cuddly!
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 24 May, 2012.
Tiger Bee Fly (<i>Xenox tigrinus</i>)
Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
□ The markings on the wings are reminiscent of stained glass — beautiful!
Photographed by: Deborah K. Eddy. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Superior Township, Michigan, USA. Date: 2 September, 2013.
Tiger Bee Fly (<i>Xenox tigrinus</i>)
Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
Photographed and identified by: Carlo Castoro. (Nice job with the ID, Carlo!) Location: Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 8 August, 2017. Carlo says, “He landed on my wife’s back in Pittsburgh. He was really big for a fly — the squares in that pattern are 1/2 inch apart!”
Tiger Bee Fly (<i>Xenox tigrinus</i>)
Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
Found by: Story Sutterfield, age 7; and photographed by her grandmother. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville, Indiana, USA. Date: 26 August, 2017. Story’s mom Shannon says, “My mom took forever trying to take the picture of this bug because it didn’t want to cooperate!“ KnowYourInsects.org says, “Sometimes insects are a lot like kids ☺.”
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Muscidae (the house flies, stable flies, and others)

Muscid Fly
Muscid Fly, family Muscidae (the house flies, stable flies, and others).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 May, 2016.
Muscid Fly
Muscid Fly, family Muscidae (the house flies, stable flies, and others).
Photographed by and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Otsego County, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 May, 2017.
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Bibionidae (the March flies)

Bibio albipennis
Bibio albipennis (no common name), family Bibionidae (the March flies).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: BugGuide. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 April, 2017. Thomas says, “The flock (of these flies) was only around here for about a week, perhaps slightly less. The plant they were mainly flying around and mating on was an Arbutus 'Marina' Multi, an evergreen tree.”
Bibio albipennis
Bibio albipennis (no common name), family Bibionidae (the March flies).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: BugGuide. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 April, 2017. KnowYourInsects.org says, “Amazing photo of this insect in flight, Thomas!”
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Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies)

Ladybug mimic fly (<i>Gymnosoma</i>)
Ladybug Mimic Fly in the genus Gymnosoma, family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
□ Take a look at the white flaps just behind the wings. Those are calypters, and they are a characteristic feature of certain types of flies, including the ladybug mimic flies. (The halteres are hidden by the calypters.)
Photographed and identified (with a great guess!) by: Kathy Caine. Location: Cedar City, Utah, USA. Date: 10 June, 2017.
Tachinid Fly (<i>Cylindromyia fumipennis</i>)
Cylindromyia fumipennis (no common name), family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
Photographed and identified by: Jackie Lucier. See the full-size image here. Location: Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. Date: 18 June, 20o9.
Phasia
Tachinid Fly (no common name) in the genus Phasia, family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
□ This is a small fly, perching on a fleabane daisy.
Photographed by: Mike Bloodsworth. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Mike’s full-size image here. Location: Smith County, Texas, USA. Date: 26 April, 2008.
Tachinid Fly (<i>Epalpus signifer</i>)
Epalpus signifer (no common name), family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 24 May, 2012.
Tachinid Fly (<i>Epalpus signifer</i>)
Epalpus signifer (no common name), family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 May, 2012.
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Asilidae (the robber flies)

Robber Fly
Robber Fly, possibly a Red-Footed Cannibal Fly, Promachus rufipes, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
Photographed and identified to family by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Identified to (tentative) species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio, USA. Date: 29 August, 2015. Kelly says, “Nice look at a robber fly in the sun.This sure is a large individual. Had great looks at them here last year as well.”
Robber Fly
Red-Footed Cannibal Fly, Promachus rufipes, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ This species is an amazing predator. It can reportedly attack and kill a hummingbird!
Photographed by: Janice and Rich Thies. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Hartsburg, Boone County, Missouri, USA. Date: 12 August, 2017. Jan says, “I saw this insect mating with another on my green bean plant.” She snapped the photo the following day when she saw it in a bucket on her porch. She adds, “I have never seen an insect like this.”
Robber Fly
Robber Fly, Efferia aestuans, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ This is a female. The male, in contrast, has clumpy-looking “claspers” on the rear end of the abdomen that he uses to grasp the female during mating.
Photographed by: R. L. Winfield. Location: Swananoa, western North Carolina, USA . Date: 15 June, 2017.
R. L. says, “My grandson found it and I took the picture.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Excellent find, Zack Reece! And nice shot, Granddad!”
Robber Fly
Robber Fly, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ Robber flies also are sometimes called hanging thieves, because once they capture their prey (other flying or crawling insects), they hang from a plant stem by their front legs, and use their other legs to handle the prey while they eat it.
Photographed by: Diane Paparodis Ciancone. Location: Columbiana, Ohio, USA. Date: 15 June, 2017.
Diane says it was about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.
Robber Fly
Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
Photographed by: Karen Bickers. Identified by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Date: 24 July, 2017. Karen says, “This little feller was on the KFC windowsill yesterday.... The legs are crazy long on this thing. Maybe it’s a supermodel insect. LOL!”
Robber Fly
Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ The “hunchback” silhouette helps distinguish this insect as a Robber Fly.
Photographed by: Tony L. Identified by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. Location: Unknown, USA. Date: 24 July, 2017. Tony says, “Just found this today on my car.”
Robber Fly
Robber Fly, possibly Triorla interrupta, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ This species eats other insects, especially flying insects, and sometimes other robber flies.
Photographed and identified to family by: Dana Lane. Identified to (tentative) species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Canyon, Texas, USA. Date: 15 August, 2017. Dana guessed it was a robber fly, but wasn’t certain. She was right!
Robber Fly and Mosquito
Robber Fly, family Asilidae (the robber flies); and a Mosquito, family Culicidae (the mosquitoes).
Photographed and identified to family by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio, USA. Date: 29 August, 2015. Kelly says, “Just watched this Robber Fly catch a Mosquito in mid air. Nature absolutely rocks!!!”
Robber Fly and Mosquito
Robber Fly, family Asilidae (the robber flies); and a Mosquito, family Culicidae (the mosquitoes).
□ This insect came with a fun story — see the photographer’s tale below.
Photographed by: Aili Jarvelainen. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Australia. Date: 8 December, 2017. Aili says, “Recently on a hot 30°c (86°F), and I was playing in the garden with my little boys, wearing a brightly colored, backless, floral dress when something feeling quite large landed on my back. I reached around to flick it off and was stung on my thumb (deservingly as floral dresses are so uncool). The stinger I pulled out was U-shaped (but) I did not see the culprit.... A week later in my son’s pool, I discovered a stealth-looking insect with the identical stinger and anxiously collected and stored it in a plastic bag with the water.”

Culicidae (the mosquitoes)

Mosquito
Mosquito, family Culicidae (the mosquitoes).
□ Because of the diseases carried by mosquitoes, experts recommend that everyone utilize personal repellants as well as barrier sprays to keep the pests away.
Photographed by and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Otsego County, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 May, 2017.
Mosquito
Mosquito, larva, family Culicidae (the mosquitoes).
□ The larva lives underwater but it still breathes air, thanks to the breathing tube (called a siphon) that extends up to the surface. The opening at the end of the tube can close off to keep water out when the larva dives. Mosquito larvae are quite active, and are sometimes called wigglers.
Photographed and identified by: Neil Boyle. Location: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Date: July, 2017.
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Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies)

Black Horse Fly (<i>Tabanus atratus</i>)
Black Horse Fly, female), Tabanus atratus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 7 July, 2012.
Black Horse Fly (<i>Tabanus atratus</i>)
Black Horse Fly, female), Tabanus atratus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 7 July, 2012.
Black horse fly (<i>Tabanus atratus</i>)
Black Horse Fly, female), Tabanus atratus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
□ Check out those mouthparts!
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 7 July, 2012.
Black Horse Fly (<i>Tabanus atratus</i>)
Black Horse Fly, female, Tabanus atratus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
□ Look at the size of this fly!
Photographed by: Charlotte Rogers. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: northwestern Louisiana, USA. Date: 16 September, 2017. Charlotte says, “Have never seen a horsefly here!”
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Sepsidae (the black scavenger flies)
Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies)


Sepsid fly
Sepsid Fly, family Sepsidae (the black scavenger flies).
□ Note the beautiful pinstriping on the wings!
Photographed by: Raven Meindel. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lima Township, Dexter, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 June, 2016.
Long-Legged Fly, Hydrophorus spp.
Long-Legged Flies, tentatively identified as the genus Hydrophorus, family Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies).
□ Flies in the genus Hydrophorus skate along the water surface, periodically flying off. As with many species of insects, the female is larger than the male.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: city of South San Francisco, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 November, 2017. Surprisingly, Thomas says they were not too difficult to photograph. He remarks, “The puddle of water was not very large, perhaps about a couple of feet or so in length and width, so they never got very far away, they never took off while I was there, and they seemed to like the side that I was on!”
Long-Legged Fly, family Dolichopodidae
Long-Legged Fly, family Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies).
□ Long-Legged Flies prey on many common garden pests, such as aphids and mites, so they are beneficial. Identification of these small, long-legged flies to species is very difficult, and typically requires microscopic examination by an expert.
Photographed by: Dave Delman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: New York, USA. Date: 23 July, 2017.

Sarcophagidae (the flesh flies)

Flesh fly (Sarcophaga carnaria)
Flesh fly, Sarcophaga carnaria, family Sarcophagidae (the flesh flies).
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: 14 September, 2017. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England UK.
Red-tailed flesh fly
Red-Tailed Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis), family Sarcophagidae (the flesh flies).
□ Look closely to see the red “tail.”
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 September, 2016.
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Calliphoridae (the blow, carrion, bottle and cluster flies)

Blue Bottle Fly (Calliphora vicini)
Blue Bottle Fly, Calliphora vicini, family Calliphoridae (the blow, carrion, bottle and cluster flies).
Calliphora vicini and Calliphora vomitoria are almost identical. One way to tell them apart is to look at the “cheeks.” If they are orange with black hairs (like this one), it is Calliphora vicini. If the they are black with orange hairs instead, it is Calliphora vomitoria.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Nice identification, Bryan! Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 30 August, 2017. Date: 17 October, 2016. Bryan says, “Somewhere was noted that there are some 270 species of hoverfly in Britain!”
Common Cluster Fly
Common Cluster Fly, Pollenia rudis, family Calliphoridae (the blow, carrion, bottle and cluster flies).
□ These are called cluster flies because they do indeed cluster together once cold weather arrives — often in the attic of a house.
Photographed by: Yvonne Ugarte. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Date: 17 October, 2016. Yvonne says, “Beautiful markings beneath its wings.”
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Micropezidae (the stilt-legged flies)
Neriidae (the cactus flies and banana-stalk flies)

Red Stilt-Legged Fly (<i>Grallipeza nebulosa</i>)
Red Stilt-Legged Fly, Grallipeza nebulosa, family Micropezidae (the stilt-legged flies).
□ Look carefully to see a white band around each leg.
Photographed by: Maryle Barbé. Jointly identified by Lyle Buss (to family) and William H. Kern Jr. (to species with assistance from Bugguide.net). Location: Florida, USA. Date: December 2013.
Add your photo here! Neriid Fly (<i>Telostylinus lineolatus</i>)
Banana-Stalk Fly, Telostylinus lineolatus, family Neriidae (the cactus flies and banana-stalk flies).
□ The Banana-Stalk Fly and other members of this family (Neriidae) have tall and slender legs, similar to the stilt-legged flies (Micropezidae family). Stilt-legged flies differ in that they have shortened front legs compared to the middle pair (see the Red Stilt-Legged Fly in the previous photo). According to Dr. S. Ramani, this Banana-Stalk Fly breeds on fallen and rotting papaya stems.
Photographed by: Ravindra Kumar Prasad. Identified by: Dr. S. Ramani, consultant, Capacity Building in Taxonomy of Insects and Mites, Department of Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore. Location: India. Date: 21 October, 2017.

Chironomidae (the midges)
Cecidomyiidae (the gall midges and wood midges)


Chironomid Fly
Midge, family Chironomidae (the midges).
Photographed by: Matthew P. Jointly identified by: Lyle Buss (to family) and William H. Kern Jr. (to species with assistance from Bugguide.net). Location: mid-West Georgia, USA. Date: 28 September, 2016. Matthew says, “I am having a problem with a swarm of flying insects, similar to mosquitos but smaller and non-biting, hanging out over the last several weeks.”
Add your photo here! Cecidomyiid Fly
Galls caused by the a Cecidomyiid midge, family Cecidomyiidae (the gall midges and wood midges).
□ Plants may form growths called galls in response to infestation by insects. Depending on the species of insect and plant, galls may be found in different locations on the plant. Here, a midge caused galls in the mid-rib of leaves in a New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis). Thank you to the photographer for including the species of plant, which helped identify the insect!
Photographed by: Link Davis. Identified by: Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., insect identifier and extension educator, Penn State University Department of Entomology. Thank you, Dr. Skvarla! Location: Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 8 October, 2017. Link says, “I have seen them on the same plant in years past.”

Sciaridae (the dark-winged fungus gnats)
Mycetophilidae (the fungus gnats)

Dark-winged fungus gnat
Dark-winged Fungus Gnats, larvae, family Sciaridae (the dark-winged fungus gnats).
□ This “snake”is actually a moving mass of hundreds of Dark-Winged Fungus Gnat larvae (aka maggots) — truly a bizarre sight!
Photographed and identified by: Janice Thies. Location: Boone County (near Hartsburg), Missouri, USA. Date: 1 July, 2017. Jan says, “The snake was about the size of my foot. I noticed it late spring in my driveway. Eeeek!”
Add your photo here! Fungus gnat
Fungus Gnat, family Mycetophilidae (the fungus gnats).
Photographed by: Eleanora Robbins, Ph.D. Identified by KnowYourInsects.org. Location: La Mesa, southern California, USA. Date: 21 April, 2017. Dr. Robbins says, “Several of these are flying around my house, day and night.”

Psychodidae (the filter flies)

Filter Fly (Clogmia spp.)
Filter Fly, also know as a Bathroom Fly, genus Clogmia, family Psychodidae (the filter flies).
□ These tiny Filter Flies have a distinctive silhouette. They are sometimes called Bathroom Flies because they are often found in the bathroom (or other room with a drain). The females lay their eggs in the muck that accumulates in a sink or bathtub drain.
Photographed by: Ronnie. Location: Livonia, Michigan, USA. Date: 6 November, 2017. Ronnie says, “I’ve noticed these little things mostly in my kitchen and laundry room.... They are so little, and when I smash them they are like dust, for lack of a more accurate term.”
Add your photo here! Add your photo here!

Pediciidae (the hairy-eyed crane flies)
Ptychopteridae (the phantom crane flies)

Giant Eastern Crane Fly (<i>Pedicia albivitta</i>)
Giant Eastern Crane Fly, Pedicia albivitta, family Pediciidae (the hairy-eyed crane flies).
□ Why are insects in this family called “hairy-eyed”? They actually have tiny hairs on their eyes! Insect eyes are made up of many small facets (somewhat similar in appearance to a disco ball), and the short hairs are located between the facets.
Photographed and identified as a crane fly by: Julie Jensen. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: New Lisbon, New York, USA. Date: 27 August, 2017. Julie says, “I believe it is a crane fly, though it doesn’t look exactly like any I’ve found online.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “You’re right, Julie! It looks much like a crane fly (see Tipulidae family of crane flies below), but it’ actually in a separate family.
Add your photo here! Phantom Crane Fly (<i>Bittacomorpha clavipes</i>)
Phantom Crane Fly, Bittacomorpha clavipes, family Ptychopteridae (the phantom crane flies).
□ This is another family that is related to the crane flies (see Tipulidae family of crane flies below). Note the inflated tarsi (the swelled-looking black “feet”) in this photo. This is a characteristic feature of the phantom crane flies.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Michaywe, Otsego County, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 May, 2015. Leslie says, “I very rarely see phantom crane flies, so this was a real treat!”

Tipulidae (the crane flies)

Western Giant Crane Fly
Western Giant Crane Fly, Holorusia rubiginosa, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed and identified as a crane fly by: Josh Reese. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Josh says this crane fly, which he found dead in his house, has a body 2.5 inches long, legs 3 inches long, and a wingspan of 3.5 inches! Location: near Salem, Oregon, USA. Date: 21 August, 2016. Josh remarks, “I've seen a lot of crane flies over the years; none quite this big.”
Crane Fly (Ctenophora spp.)
Crane Fly, Ctenophora spp., possibly Ctenophora ishiharai, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Ctenophorinae.
□ This genus of crane flies has amazing feathery antennae — so handsome!
Photographed and identified to order by: Tony Ledger. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tea Gardens, New South Wales, Australia. Date: approximately 2008.
Crane Fly (<i>Limonia</i>)
Crane Fly in the genus Limonia, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Limoniinae.
□ Crane flies in the subfamily Limoniinae (like this one) holds their wings flat over the back when at rest, while most other crane flies in other subfamilies hold them outstretched. The cells in the back end of the wings look almost like stained glass.
Photographed and identified as a crane fly by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Oxford, UK. Date: 25 November, 2017.
Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Side view in next photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 21 April, 2017.
Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Top view in previous photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 21 April, 2017.
Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, female, genus Nephrotoma, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□Females have a sharply tapered tip on the abdomen — like this one does.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 26 May, 2017. Leslie says, “The orange abdomen was quite striking, and so far the crane fly has remained right there on the screen of the doorwall (that’s Michigan-speak for a sliding door) for two hours!”
Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma flavescens, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Close-up in next photo.
Photographed and identified as a Tiger Crane Fly by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybrige, near Plymouth, South Devon (South Hams), England UK. Date: 7 August, 2017.
Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma flavescens, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Such beautiful crane fly!
Photographed and identified as a Tiger Crane Fly by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybrige, near Plymouth, South Devon (South Hams), England UK. Date: 7 August, 2017.
Tiger Crane Fly Crane Fly, possibly Tiger Crane Fly, a species of the Nephrotoma genus, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ The patterning on its thorax is beautiful!
Photographed and identified as a crane fly by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 23 March, 2017.
Tiger Crane Fly
Crane Fly, possibly Tiger Crane Fly, a species of the Nephrotoma genus, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ This is the side view of the previous photo.
Photographed and identified as a crane fly by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 23 March, 2017.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Nephtotoma, very likely Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Top view in next photo.
Photographed and identified to order by Thomas Langhans. Identified to the genus Nephrotoma, and almost certainly to the species Nephtotoma wulpiana, by: Matt Bertone, North Carolina State University. See full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 April, 2016.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Nephtotoma, very likely Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Side view in previous photo.
Photographed and identified to order by Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus and species by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 April, 2016.
Giant Crane Fly (Tipula abdominalis)
Giant Crane Fly, Tipula abdominalis, family Tipulidae, subfamily Tipulinae.
□ The female Giant Crane Fly can grow to 1.75 inches (4.5 cm) long, but her legs can stretch about 4.5 inches (11.5 cm). Close-up in next photo.
Photographed by: Eric Mazzi. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shade Gap, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 15 September, 2017. Eric says, “I have several of them in my house.”
Giant Crane Fly (Tipula abdominalis)
Giant Crane Fly, Tipula abdominalis, family Tipulidae, subfamily Tipulinae.
□ This is a close-up of the previous photo. Notice the patterning on the thorax and the orange coloration between the eyes.
Photographed by: Eric Mazzi. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shade Gap, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 15 September, 2017.
Mating Crane Flies
Giant Crane Flies mating, Tipula abdominalis, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed and identified by: Christina Quail. Location: Sect. 6, Nottawa Township, Isabella County, Michigan, USA. Date: 24 August, 2015.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Tipula, possibly subgenus Hesperotipula, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Top view in next photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 26 April, 2016.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Tipula, possibly subgenus Hesperotipula, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Side view in previous photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 26 April, 2016.
Crane Fly (Pselliophora laeta)
Crane Fly, Pselliophora laeta, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Ctenophorinae.
□ Such beautiful wings on this crane fly! This is a female. The males of this species have quite spectacular feathery antennae.
Photographed by: Roshan Pillai. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Mumbai, India. Date: 15 November, 2017.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Tipula, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 26 April, 2016.
Tipula paludosa
European Crane Fly, Tipula paludosa, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Note the dark leading edge on the wings, which is a characteristic of this species. This species has spread from its native Europe to many places throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See full-size image here. Location: city of South San Francisco, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 February, 2017.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, family Tipulidae (the crane flies).
□ KnowYourInsects.org suspects this is a newly emerged crane fly with its wings not yet fully expanded (see the photographer’s comment below.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’s full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 29 March, 2017. Thomas says, “These crane flies were running around in tall grass and plants, no flying. What struck me, besides that, was their wings. I could not decide if the wings where not fully matured or if they were shriveled up.”
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, Tipula spp., family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed and identified by: Barbara Wilson. Location: San Diego, California, USA. Date: 13 April, 2016.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, possibly in the genus Limonia, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Limoniinae.
□ This Crane Fly has iridescent wings, and striping on its legs.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 17 September, 2017. Date: April, 2017. Bryan says, “It’s a lovely blue. Not only that, when enlarged its halteres show up nicely — they almost look like spoons!”
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, family Tipulidae (the crane flies).
Photographed by: Rolf Leeven. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA. Date: April, 2017. Rolf says he is “very impressed by the ‘engineering’ of the wings and ‘drive train’.” KnowYourInsects.org likes that description!
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, family Tipulidae (the crane flies).
□ They have delicate legs — this one is missing two of them.
Photographed and identified by: Cathleen Capogeannis. Location: San Jose, California, USA. Date: 8 May, 2015.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, Tipula spp., family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska, Michigan, USA. Date: 11 June, 2015.
Crane Fly
Crane Fly, Tipula spp., family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
Photographed by: Norine Nichols. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bird Lake, Osseo, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 August, 2015.


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Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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