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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)
Tephritidae (the fruit flies)
Tipulidae (the crane flies)
Ulidiidae (the picture-winged flies)


Syrphidae, the flower and hover flies

Syrphid Fly
Hover fly (no common name), Palpada mexicana, subfamily Eristalinae, 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.
Palpada furcata
Hover fly (no common name), male, Palpada furcata, subfamily Eristalinae, 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.
Palpada furcata
Hover fly (no common name), female, Palpada furcata, subfamily Eristalinae, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies). □ In many flies, including this species, the female’s eyes are not quite as large as the male’s. Compare this species with the male in the previous photo.

Photographed and identified by: Sheldon Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 15 December, 2017.
Hoverfly (Eristalis arbustorum)
Hoverfly, Eristalis arbustorum, subfamily Eristalinae, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ One of the features of this species of Hoverfly is the black marking on its first abdominal segment (the one closest to the “waist”) that looks somewhat like a “Y”. This Hoverfly also has thin white lines between each abdominal segment. Other characteristics of this species of Hoverfly include a white face, and black-and-yellow-banded legs.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 8 April, 2017.
Yellow Jacket Hoverfly (Milesia virginiensis)
Yellow Jacket Hoverfly, Milesia virginiensis, subfamily Eristalinae, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ At first glance, this Hoverfly really does look like a wasp!
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 24 April, 2017.
Hoverfly (Eristalinus)
Hoverfly in the genus Eristalinus, possibly Eristalinus megacephalus, subfamily Eristalinae, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Notice the interesting spotted eyes. Some members of this genus do not have spotted eyes — instead, their eyes are striped.
Photographed by: Roshan Pillai. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mumbai, India. Date: 25 January, 2018.
Roshan says, “This morning Johan noticed a weird-looking fly idling on tulsi leaf and wanted me to shoot pics. Looks like a big cousin of housefly to me. Must have been 1cm long.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Good job pointing out this insect, Johan!”
Lesser Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella inanis)
Lesser Hornet Hoverfly, Volucella inanis, subfamily Eristalinae, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ Look closely at this Lesser Hornet Hoverfly to see the yellow abdomen with its black bands. Also take note of its head: This species has an unusual, elongate and diamond-shaped “face.” If you’re a Star Wars buff, its face just may remind you of the fictional character called a Garindan :-) The adult Lesser Hornet Hoverfly dines on flower nectar. Females lay their eggs in a wasp/hornet nest, and the larvae continue to live and develop there.
Photographed by: Michael Meegan. Identified by: Dr. Christian Kehlmaier of the Dresden Museum of Zoology in Berlin, Germany. Thank you, Dr. Kehlmaier! Date: 5 June, 2018.
Hover Fly
Hover flies (no common name), Toxomerus marginatus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ There are a number of hoverflies in different genera with this comma-shaped pattern on the abdomen.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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.
Hover fly (Syrphus)
Hover Fly, likely a Pied Hover Fly, Scaeva pyrastri, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ This Hover Fly is on a bladder campion plant.
Photographed and identified by: Robert Uram. Location: Junfrau region near Wengen, Switzerland. Date: 13 July, 2010.
Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ The photographer posits that this may be either the species Syrphus ribesii or Syrphus vitripennis. Hoverfly specialist Jeff Skevington of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada took a look, but could not positively identify it beyond the genus.
Photographed and identified as the genus Syrphus by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Hover fly (Syrphus torvis)
Hover Fly, Syrphus torvis, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ The photographer spotted this Hover Fly in a deck planter, resting on prickly sow thistle. Note: Prickly sow thistle (Sonchus asper) has a yellow dandelion-like flower and spiny leaves.
Photographed and identified by: Robert Uram. Location: Russian Hill San Francisco, California, USA. Date: 13 April, 2018.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, Syrphus torvus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ The golden fuzz (pubescence) on its thorax is noticeable almost as a halo effect in these fine photographs.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 8 April, 2017.
Hover Fly (Eristalis)
Hover Fly in the genus Eristalis, possibly Eristalis pertinax, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ This is one of numerous Hover Flies that look similar to bees. A good way to distinguish flies from bees is to look at the antennae. As a rule, bees have elbowed antennae (so they have a sharp bend in them), while flies have short antennae that often are extremely thin and look like little hairs, as shown in the close-up photo here.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 16 March, 2018.
Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax)
Tapered Drone Fly, likely Eristalis pertinax, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ The Tapered Drone Fly has a dark brown abdomen with two yellow patches, each of which is wide at the side and tapered toward the middle. The patches are visible in the left photo. It also has hairs on its eyes, which can be seen in the right photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 16 March, 2018.
Bryan says, “Apart from the two yellow bits each side at top of abdomen, other bands seem to be subdued black and grey rings.”
Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax)
Tapered Drone Fly, likely Eristalis pertinax, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies), subfamily Syrphinae.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 17 September, 2017.
Bryan took this shot in his garden.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, female, Eupeodes volucris, 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).
Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies), subfamily Syrphinae.
□ 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 (@BryanPhotos). Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Hover Fly in the genus Sphaerophoria
Hover Fly in the genus Sphaerophoria, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ The pattern on the abdomen and thorax are slightly different in this genus. Note the rearward curvature of the first, second and third dark bands.
Photographed by: Daisy Rulz. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mayville, Michigan, USA. Date: 16 June, 2017.
Hover Fly
Hover fly, female, Eupeodes volucris, family Syrphidae (the flower and hover flies).
□ In this species, the white curved bars on the abdomen are in pairs and do not meet in the center. The female differs from the male in that she has an obvious white gap between her eyes (the eyes do not touch).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 April, 2017.
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!”
Add your photo here! Add your photo here!

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.
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.”
Soldier fly
Soldier Fly, family Stratiomyidae (the soldier flies).
□ Note the ring-shaped vein structure in the center of each wing, as well as the very obvious haltere (the knobbed structure) behind each wing.
Photographed and identified to order by: Carlo Castoro. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. Date: 14 September, 2017.
Carlo notes that the fly is cleaning itself in the photo, which is why one of the hind legs appears to be missing (it is just hidden).

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.
Bee Fly (<i>Bombylius major</i>)
Large Bee Fly, Bombylius major, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
□ This Large Bee Fly has a dark angular pattern on its wings, and a long proboscis (the snout). It uses the proboscis to reach nectar in flowers, and in doing so, it also picks up pollen and helps to pollinate flowers.
Photographed by: Neil Ardeshir. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Street, Somerset, England. Date: 14 April, 2018.
Neil says he found it in his garden.
Hunchback Bee Fly (<i>Lepidophora lutea</i>)
Hunch-Backed Bee Fly, Lepidophora lutea, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
□ This Hunch-Backed Bee Fly uses its long proboscis to probe for nectar in a black-eyed susan, a favorite flower for this species. Besides the rounded “hunch-back,” this Bee Fly has antennae with tiny scales on them — that feature gives them their genus name of Lepidophora, which means “bearing scales.” Photographed by: Marion Chard. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Alger, Michigan, USA. Date: 5 August, 2018.
Marion says, “Neat insects, aren’t they?” KnowYourInsects replies, “Most definitely!”
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 ☺.”
Zigzag Bee Fly
Zigzag Bee Fly in the genus Hemipenthes, family Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 20 June, 2017.
Sinuous Bee Fly (Hemipenthes sinuosa)
Sinuous Bee Fly, Hemipenthes sinuosa, Bombyliidae (the bee flies).
□ The difference between various species in this genus is often very slight. Hemipenthes sinuosa has considerable dark patterning in its wings.
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 21 August, 2016.
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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 to family 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 and identified to family by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Otsego County, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 May, 2017.
Muscid Fly
Muscid Fly, family Muscidae (the house flies, stable flies, and others).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 April, 2017.

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 images here and 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.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Amazing photo of this insect in flight, Thomas!”
Lovebugs, Plecia nearctica
Lovebugs, male and female, Plecia nearctica, family Bibionidae (the March flies).
□ Lovebugs are also sometimes called honeymoon flies or double-headed bugs, because males and females will remain connected back-to-back (as shown in the photo) during mating, even in flight. The pair will stay in this tandem position for several days, long after mating is complete.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 30 April, 2018.
Sheldon says, “Florida locals also call them Mayflies.” During their mating season, he reports the lovebugs are so numerous that they splat all over traveling car windshields and grills.
Lovebug, Plecia nearctica
Lovebug, male, Plecia nearctica, family Bibionidae (the March flies).
□ The females are larger overall, but the male has much bigger and rounder eyes, as shown here. Note: Even though they are called Lovebugs, they are actually flies. “True bugs” are in a separate order (Hemiptera) and include insects such as cicadas, leafhoppers and assassin bugs.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 26 April, 2018.

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.
Add your photo here! Tachinid Fly (<i>Epalpus signifer</i>)
Tachinid Fly, Epalpus signifer, family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
□ These photos show this Tachinid Fly from the front and rear. Note the distinctive marking on its hind end.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sean Horton Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Whatcom County, Washington, USA. Date: 24 May, 2012.
Sean says, “I found this little guy on my kayak hull the other day when I was washing it up. He was about 1/2" (1.3 cm) long, and had bright yellow cloven feet with spiky black hair on his abdomen.”
Tachinid Fly (<i>Epalpus signifer</i>)
Tachinid Fly, Epalpus signifer, 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>)
Tachinid Fly, Epalpus signifer, 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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Tachinid Fly (<i>Archytas marmoratus</i>)
Hefty Fly, Archytas marmoratus, family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
□ The Hefty Fly has a white, concave face; brown stripe down the top of its head; black-tipped, orange antennae; a orangish/tan rump; and lots of hairs. The photographer captured all these features in the above photos.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 December, 2016.
Tachinid Fly (<i>Archytas</i>)
Tachinid Fly in the genus Archytas, family Tachinidae (the tachina or tachinid flies).
□ All of the species in this genus has a similar silhouette.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 23 June, 2017.

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 in the genus Diogmites, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ The “hunchback” silhouette helps distinguish this insect as a Robber Fly.
Photographed and identified to order by: Kyle A. Lengerich. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Greenwood, Indiana, USA. Date: 9 July, 2018.
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).
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 — it is a robber fly!
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.”
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, Mallophora spp.
Robber Fly in the genus Mallophora, family Asilidae (the robber flies).
□ The photographer found this Robber Fly on a terrace on a Greek island, near some flowering shrubs. She describes it as being “very territorial if any other bug comes near.” See her additional comments below. Photographed and identified by: Ruth Lamb. Location: Ionian Island of Ithaki, Greece. Date: 23 June, 2018.
Ruth says, “He is certainly quite a feisty little chap! Quite pleasant to us and likes his photo taken.”
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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).
□ This species can be 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. That is one huge fly! The female has a space between the eyes, while the male’s eyes touch.
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!”
Horse Fly (<i>Tabanus melanocerus</i>)
Giant Horse Fly in the genus Tabanus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
□ Many Horse Flies in the genus Tabanus have the light-colored, triangular markings on the abdomen (as shown in this photo). The male’s eyes abut one another; the female’s do not. There appears to be a space between the eyes, which means this one is a female.
Photographed by: Melissa Richards. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Eastcott, North Cornwall, UK. Date: 29 June, 2018. Melissa says she found it a very rural location next to a beef farm.
Dark Giant Horse Fly (<i>Tabanus sudeticus</i>)
Dark Giant Horse Fly, female, sometimes called a Dark Behemothic Horse Fly, Tabanus sudeticus, family Tabanidae (the horse and deer flies).
□ The photographer noted that it was very large (see his comments below), and once he learned that it was a Dark Giant Horse Fly, he was able to identify it as a female.
Photographed and identified to order by: Vinny Holt. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Aberporth, Pembrokeshire, UK. Date: 6 August, 2018.
Vinny says, “I found it trapped on my motorbike when i was riding through the country lanes around Aberporth, Pembrokeshire. It was more like 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. Quite big. A guy who lived there for 30 years said he’d never seen one like that before.

Dolichopodidae, the long-legged flies

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.
Long-Legged Fly, Condylostylus spp., family Dolichopodidae
Long-Legged Fly, tentatively identified as the genus Condylostylus, family Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies).
□ This Long-Legged Fly is in the subfamily Sciapodinae. All of the flies in this subfamily have a “vertex deeply excavated when viewed from ahead,” according to BugGuide. That means its “forehead” has a big dip in the middle (as seen in this photo).”
Photographed and identified to family by: Gail Rowley, Ozark Stream Photography. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Texas County, Missouri, USA. Date: 14 April, 2018.
Gail says it was on a common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca).
Long-Legged Fly, Plagioneurus univittatus
Long-Legged Fly, Plagioneurus univittatus, family Dolichopodidae (the long-legged flies).
□ This Long-Legged Fly has a brown stripe on its thorax, and numerous bands on its abdomen. This species has hairs on its thorax, but they are not visible in this photograph.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 24 March, 2018.
Sheldon says, “Subject is tiny really tiny. I used a lot of zoom, then major cropping.”
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Sarcophagidae, the flesh flies

Flesh fly (Sarcophaga carnaria)
Flesh fly, Sarcophaga carnaria, family Sarcophagidae (the flesh flies).
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). 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

Common Green Bottle Fly (Lucilia sericata)
Common Green Bottle Fly, female, Lucilia sericata, family Calliphoridae (the blow, carrion, bottle and cluster flies).
□ Forensics scientists use Common Green Bottle Flies to help them determine a victim’s time of death. Because the flies will begin to lay eggs on a dead body within a very short time frame, and their ensuing life stages come at very predictable times thereafter, the scientists can work backward from the lifestage discovered on the body and figure out when the death occurred.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 21 August, 2016.
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 (@BryanPhotos). 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!”
Blue Bottle Fly, Protophormia terraenovae
Blue Bottle Fly, Protophormia terraenovae, family Calliphoridae (the blow flies).
□ There are several flies called Blue Bottle Flies. This is one of them. Characteristic features include the metallic blue body, a black head and legs, and up to 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) long).

Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 18 April, 2018.
Oriental Latrine Fly, Chrysomya megacephala
Oriental Latrine Fly, male, Chrysomya megacephala, family Calliphoridae (the blow flies).
□ Large red eyes and metallic body are hallmarks of this species with the rather unflattering common name of Oriental Latrine Fly. The male (shown here) has especially huge eyes that abut one another.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 23 June, 2017.
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.
Stilt-legged fly (Hoplocheiloma totliana)
Stilt-Legged Fly, Hoplocheiloma totliana, family Micropezidae (the stilt-legged flies).
□ These colorful Stilt-Legged Flies are found in the Caribbean and up into Florida. Note the characteristic black stripes on the wings: a narrow stripe, followed by a wide stripe, and then another narrow stripe.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Date: 18 March, 2018.
Carlo says, “ They’ve invaded!”
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!”
Dark-winged fungus gnat
Dark-winged Fungus Gnats, larvae, family Sciaridae (the dark-winged fungus gnats).
□ This living necklace is made of hundreds of Dark-Winged Fungus Gnat larvae, all moving in a circle. These larvae often move en masse, following a scent laid down by a leader. If that leader curls around and bumps into the larva at the end of the trail, it also picks up the trail scent. Instead of ignoring it, however, it just joins in, which causes the whole group to walk around and around in a circle.
Photographed by: Barbara Borkowski. Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 1 July, 2017.
Barb says, “It is totally weird and fascinating!”
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).
□ Filter Flies have a distinctive silhouette with wings held flat and somewhat extended from the body. 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.”
Drain Fly (Clogmia spp.)
Drain Fly in the genus Clogmia, family Psychodidae (the filter flies).
□ This Drain Fly has beautifully patterned wings, and lots of hair!
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Windham. Location: Ivybrige, near Plymouth, South Devon (South Hams), England UK. Date: 21 April, 2017.
Bryan says he had often seen these tiny creatures flying around, but it was only when he photographed them and looked up close that he realized how fascinating they were: “Who would have guessed they were such hairy little beings?”
Drain Fly (Clogmia spp.)
Drain Fly in the genus Clogmia, family Psychodidae (the filter flies).
□ This lovely Drain Fly has tufts of hair that burst from the thorax almost like little flowers.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Windham. Location: Ivybrige, near Plymouth, South Devon (South Hams), England UK. Date: 21 April, 2017.
Bryan says the wingspan on this Drain Fly is about 4mm (0.15 inches) across.

Sepsidae, the black scavenger flies
Ulidiidae, the picture-winged flies

Sepsid fly
Sepsid Fly, family Sepsidae (the black scavenger flies).
□ Note the beautiful pinstriping on the wings! Members of this family are often seen munching on dead animal corpses or rotted fruit. This is an important function in the ecosystem — they get rid of dead things!
Photographed by: Raven Meindel. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lima Township, Dexter, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 June, 2016.
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Picture-Winged Fly, Delphinia picta, family Ulidiidae (the picture-winged flies).
□ This looks a lot like a fruit fly (family Tephritidae), but unlike fruit flies that love to dine on ripe fruit, this Picture-Winged Fly instead prefers well-rotted fruit, such as plums that are decaying on the ground under a tree. Note: You may see a different family name — Otitidae — associated with the Picture-Winged Flies. Otitidae is an old name, however, and the correct family name is now Ulidiidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bill P. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Belmont County, Ohio, USA. Date: 22 August, 2018.

Tephritidae, the fruit flies

Bactrocera cucurbitae
Melon Fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae, family Tephritidae (the fruit flies).
□ According to the University of Florida Entomology & Nematology website, this species is originally from India, but is now widespread through much of Southeast Asia. It arrived in Hawaii (where this photo was taken) more than a century ago, and is a pest of not only melons, but also a range of other crop plants, including beans, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
Photographed by: Christian Moratin. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kapolei, Hawaii, USA. Date: 18 May, 2018.
Walnut husk fly
Walnut Husk Fly, Rhagoletis completa, family Tephritidae (the fruit flies).
□ The Walnut Husk Fly has three stripes on each forewing, the last one curled down along the side of the wing. Although it is a member of the fruit fly family, it is similar in size to a House Fly.
Photographed by: Catherine Dyer. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Veterans Park, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Date: 9 July, 2018.
Catherine says, “I was on a blanket under our walnut tree when I found it.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “The perfect location for a Walnut Husk Fly!”
True Fruit Fly
True Fruit Fly, Trupanea nigricornis, family Tephritidae (the fruit flies).
□ True Fruit Flies, as in this species, are also sometimes called Peacock Flies. This refers to their exquisite wings. Most flies in this family also have green eyes, as shown in this photo. The photographer described it as 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long, and with “extraordinary” patterns on its wings.
Photographed by: Nora Schwab. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fair Oaks, California, USA. Date: 22 August, 2018.
Nora says, “There are two of these tiny flies on my Hot Lemon Pepper plant.... The flies seemed to be demonstrating to each other by lifting first one wing then the other.”
True Fruit Fly
Gall Fly, Chaetorellia jaceae, family Tephritidae (the fruit flies).
□ This tiny adult Gall Fly has wings with lovely striping that look almost painted with watercolors. The larvae of the Chaetostomella jaceae Gall Fly is known to feed on Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra).
Photographed and identified to order by: Wayne Fennell. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Identified to species by: an unidentified dipterist (fly expert). Location: Piegut-Pluvers, France. Date: 29 August, 2018.
Wayne describes this as a “very small fly.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Great photo, Wayne!”
True Fruit Fly
Bur-Seed Fly, Euaresta aequalis, family Tephritidae (the fruit flies).
□ The Bur-Seed Fly gets its name because its larvae feed on and destroy the prickly-looking seeds — called burs — of the Cocklebur plant (Xanthium strumarium). Because Cocklebur seeds and seedlings are toxic to various livestock animals, including cattle, pigs and horses, ranchers welcome Bur-Seed Flies to their property. See the photographer’s description below.
Photographed by: Peter Kalab. Photo submitted by: Pat Kalab. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near the Ottawa River, Ottawa, Canada. Date: 11 August, 2018.
Peter says, “The eyes were a very striking green. The wings were very interesting as they are patterned like a butterfly’s wings.”
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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

Crane Fly (Ctenophora spp.)
Crane Fly, male, Ctenophora spp., possibly Ctenophora ishiharai, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Ctenophorinae.
□ This genus of crane flies has amazing feathery antennae on the males — 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.
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Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ These are the top and side views of the Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma wulpiana.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’s full-size image here and 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 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 and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 23 March, 2017.
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.”
Tiger Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly, Nephrotoma flavescens, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ A full-body photo and a close-up to show off the beautiful pattern on the thorax.

Photographed and identified as a Tiger Crane Fly by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybrige, near Plymouth, South Devon (South Hams), England UK. Date: 7 August, 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 Nephrotoma, very likely Nephrotoma wulpiana, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Top and side views.
Photographed and identified to order by Thomas Langhans. Identified to the genus Nephrotoma, and almost certainly to the species Nephtotoma wulpiana, by: Matt Bertone, entomologist North Carolina State University. See full-size image here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 April, 2016.
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Giant Crane Fly (Tipula abdominalis)
Giant Crane Fly, Tipula abdominalis, family Tipulidae, subfamily Tipulinae.
□ A full shot and a close-up. 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.
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.”
Add your photo here! Crane Fly
Crane Fly in the genus Tipula, possibly subgenus Hesperotipula, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.
□ Top view and side views.
Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 26 April, 2016.
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
Crane Fly, female, in the genus Tipula, family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Tipulinae.

Photographed and identified to order by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: Matt Bertone, entomologist, North Carolina State University. See the full-size images here and here Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 4 May, 2017.
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.”
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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 (@BryanPhotos). Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: September, 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.
Crane Fly (Tipula spp.)
Crane Fly, possibly Tipula varipennis, family Tipulidae (the crane flies).
□ This is a small crane fly.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bryan Wenham-Baker (@BryanPhotos). Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 16 March, 2018.
Bryan pointed out “how beautifully its antennae are folded back, almost like a miniature Grant’s Gazelle horns.”
Crane Fly (Tipulidae family)
Crane Fly, family Tipulidae (the crane flies).
□ This gorgeous close-up of a crane fly even shows the tiny hairs on its abdomen.
Photographed and identified to family by: Gail Rowley, Ozark Stream Photography. Location: Texas County, Missouri, USA. Date: 14 April, 2018.
Gail found it on native grass in her field, “covered in morning dew, with one of its halteres visible next to a dewdrop. Actually it was mating ... I have that photo too.” Osays it was on a common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca).”
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 (Ctenophora spp.)
Crane Fly, Pselliophora spp., family Tipulidae (the crane flies), subfamily Ctenophorinae.
□ This pair of mating Crane Flies clearly shows the difference in the antennae between the male and female. The male’s are quite feathery, while the female’s are thin.
Photographed and identified to order by: K J Westman. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Sir Lanka. Date: 13 April, 2016.
K J says, “These insects are very common in Sri Lanka.”
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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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