Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June Flies

My interest in flies (order Diptera) has been increasing the past few years.  Here are a few I've come across recently.  All pictures were taken with my iPhone in and around Minneapolis in June.

Toxomerus marginatus
One of the many bee mimics in the flower fly family, Syrphidae.  The larva eat aphids, which are doing serious damage to some of the wildflowers in our backyard this year.  It's very possible the larva in the photo below is of T. marginatus.

Ptecticus sp.
 This fly is in the soldier fly family, Stratiomyidae.  According to Bug Guide there are five North American species.  P. trivittatus is the only species found in MN pictured at Bug Guide.  They are regular summer inhabitants around our compost bin.

Ctenophora nubecula
A species of crane fly, family Tipulidae.  Crane flies represent a different taxonomic branch of the Diptera.  Despite resembling a super-sized mosquito, they are harmless.