Minnesota Flies

 
Order Diptera

Diptera is the order of insects that is characterized as having a single pair of functional wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, reduced, knob-like structures derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax. The order includes true flies, mosquitos, gnats, and midges.

There are about 120,000 described species worldwide, though there are thought to be twice that number of species currently living.


syrphid fly (Toxomerus geminatus)

 

 

           

Recent Additions

 
Band-winged crane fly
   

Band-winged crane fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne) is a common, easily identified, moderate-sized crane fly. It occurs in the eastern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces east of the Great Plains. Eastern Minnesota is at the western edge of its range. It is found in floodplain woodlands and wooded areas adjacent to swamps.

Like all crane flies, the body is long and slim, the wings are long and narrow, and the legs are very long, very thin, and very fragile. The thorax has a distinct, V-shaped groove on top. The lower jaws each have a very long, antenna-like extension.

Band-winged crane fly is distinguished by the distinctive wing pattern with four bands of bordered brown spots, and by a dark brown band at the very tip of the third leg segment.

  Lesser bulb fly (Eumerus spp.)
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
   
   
   

Lesser bulb fly (Eumerus spp.)
   

Eumerus is a genus of small hoverflies in the family Syrphidae. With 281 known species, it is one of the largest genera of flies. It is found throughout the Palearctic realm, which includes Europe, Asia north of the Himalayas, North Africa, and the northern and central parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Several Eumerus species have been introduced into North and South America. Three of these are known to occur in the United States: lesser bulb fly (Eumerus funeralis), narcissus bulb fly (Eumerus narcissi), and onion bulb fly (Eumerus strigatus). Collectively, they are known as lesser bulb flies.

Adult lesser bulb flies are black tinged with bronze. They have pale longitudinal stripes on the thorax and silvery-white stripes on the abdomen. The larvae are considered pests. They tunnel into plant bulbs, causing the bulbs to rot. The bulb either dies or produces stunted growth in the following growing season. In some areas, up to 25% of narcissus bulbs are infected.

  Lesser bulb fly (Eumerus spp.)
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Long-tailed dance fly
   

Long-tailed dance fly (Rhamphomyia longicauda) is a small, black, long-legged fly. It is commonly found from May to July in deciduous woods near water. The wings are long and black. The head is round with large bright orange or red eyes. On the female, the middle and hind legs have a fringe of long, black, bristly hairs.

Every evening around sunset, males and females collect in same-sex swarms. Females and fly up and down, the behavior that gives this family its common name “dance-flies”. Females cannot hunt for prey. They receive protein from males as gifts in exchange for copulation. They swallow air, filling and extending their abdomen outward, saucer-like, falsely signaling males that their eggs are nearing maturity. The long hairy legs wrap around the abdomen, making it appear even larger. Males are attracted to females that have largest swollen abdomens and hairiest legs. An individual will break off and join the other swarm to select a mate.

  long-tailed dance fly
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
   
   
   
   

Bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
   

With 7,003 species in 530 genera worldwide, robber flies are one of the largest and most abundant families of insects alive today. Bee-like robber flies, as the common name for the genus suggests, resemble bees. There are 240 species of bee-like robber flies, 62 species in North America north of Mexico. Few of the species have been given a common name. Laphria sacrator is one of several species famous for being a bumble bee mimic, so “bumble bee mimic robber fly” will stand in for the common name.

Bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria sacrator) is a short, robust, medium-sized, bee-like robber fly. It is fairly common in northeastern and north-central United States, including Minnesota. It has a stout thorax and a short abdomen, both partially covered with long yellow hairs making it resemble a bumble bee. It is one of the hairiest of the bee-like robber flies. Adults are to 1 long.

  bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
  Photo by Christa Rittberg
   
   
   
   
   

Oak leaf gall midge
   

Many insects that form detachable galls on oak. All but two of these are cynipid wasps. The two exceptions are the oak gall midges Polystepha pilulae and Polystepha globosa.

Oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha pilulae) is a long-legged, 1 16 to long, mosquito-like fly (midge). Adults are impossible to identify by appearance in the field. However, the species can easily be identified by the gall it produces. Galls appear always on the upper surface of northern pin oak, northern red oak, and possibly black oak leaves. They are hard, 1 16 to 3 16 in diameter, and irregular in shape. They are green when they first appear in the spring, soon turning red or magenta. As they age they become brown and crusty. They can be easily detached from the leaf surface.

Oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha globosa) forms similar spherical galls on the undersurface of the leaves of black oak and possibly other oaks in the red oak group.

  oak leaf gall midge (pilulae)
   
   

Other Recent Additions
   

thick-headed fly (Physoconops obscuripennis)

aster leafminer (Calycomyza humeralis)

tufted globetail (Sphaerophoria contigua)

hoverfly (Xylota spp.)

soldier fly (Stratiomys adelpha or discalis)

American hover fly (Eupeodes americanus)

  thick-headed fly (Physoconops obscuripennis)
  Photo by Alfredo Colon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
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American hover fly (Eupeodes americanus)

 

American hover fly

band-winged crane fly

bare-bellied falsehorn

bare-eyed mimic

bee-like robber fly (Laphria index)

bee-like robber fly (Laphria sp.)

bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria posticata)

bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria sacrator)

bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria thoracica)

common eastern physocephala

common green bottle fly

common snipe fly

crane fly (Limonia annulata)

dance fly (Rhamphomyia sp.)

golden dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

goldenrod bunch gall midge

goldenrod gall fly

grasshopper bee fly

heleomyzid fly (Suillia quinquepunctata)

horse fly

hoverfly (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum sp.)

hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)

hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)

hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

hoverfly (Xylota sp.)

hunchback bee fly

lesser bulb fly (Eumerus sp.)

long-tailed dance fly

margined calligrapher

midge (Axarus festivus)

narrow-headed sun fly

oak leaf gall midge (pilulae)

ocellate gall midge

orange-horned hammertail

red-tailed flesh fly

signal fly (Rivellia colei)

small dung fly (Sphaeroceridae)

soldier fly (Stratiomys adelpha or discalis)

soldier fly (Stratiomys norma)

swift feather-legged fly

syrphid fly (Pseudodoros clavatus)

syrphid fly (Toxomerous geminatus)

tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta)

thick-headed fly (Physoconops obscuripennis)

tiger crane fly (ferruginea)

transverse flower fly

tufted globetail

white-spotted pond fly

willow catkin fly (Egle sp.)

willow pinecone gall midge

wood soldier fly (Xylomya terminalis)

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aster leafminer (Calycomyza humeralis)

 
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band-winged crane fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne)

 
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bare-bellied falsehorn (Temnostoma barberi)

 
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bare-eyed mimic (Mallota bautias)

 
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bee fly (Villa lateralis)

 
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bee-like robber fly (Laphria index)

 
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bee-like robber fly (Laphria sp.)

 
     

bee-like robber fly (Laphria ithypyga)

 
     

bird hover fly (Eupeodes volucris)

 
     

black fly (Family Simuliidae)

 
     

black-footed globetail (Sphaerophoria philanthus)

 
     

black-shouldered drone fly (Eristalis dimidiata)

 
     

brown robber fly (Proctacanthella cacopiliga)

 
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bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria posticata)

 
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bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria sacrator)

 
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bumble bee mimic robber fly (Laphria thoracica)

 
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common eastern physocephala (Physocephala tibialis)

 
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common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)

 
     

common oblique syrphid fly (Allograpta obliqua)

 
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common snipe fly (Rhagio mystaceus)

 
     

crane fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne)

 
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crane fly (Limonia annulata)

 
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crane fly (Tipulomorpha)

 
     

dance fly (Rhamphomyia fumosa)

 
     

dance fly (Rhamphomyia irregularis)

 
     

dance fly (Rhamphomyia luteiventris)

 
     

dance fly (Rhamphomyia pulla)

 
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dance fly (Rhamphomyia spp.)

 
     

dance fly (Rhamphomyia vittata)

 
     

deer fly (Chrysops spp.)

 
     

deer fly (Chrysops mitis)

 
     

drone fly (Eristalis tenax)

 
     

dung fly (Scathophaga furcata)

 
     

European drone fly (Eristalis arbustorum)

 
     

friendly fly (Sarcophaga aldrichi)

 
     

gall midge (Harmandiola cavernosa)

 
     

gall midge (Rhopalomyia artemisiae)

 
     

gall midge (Rhopalomyia baccarum)

 
     

giant crane fly (Tipula abdominalis)

 
     

giant robber fly (Promachus fitchii)

 
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giant robber fly (Promachus vertebratus)

 
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golden dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

 
     

golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus)

 
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goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

 
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goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

 
     

grape gall midge (Schizomyia vitiscoryloides)

 
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grass fly (Thaumatomyia glabra)

 
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grasshopper bee fly (Systoechus vulgaris)

 
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heleomyzid fly (Suillia quinquepunctata)

 
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horse fly (Tabanus spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

 
     

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum derivatum)

 
     

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum fasciolatum)

 
     

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum laterale)

 
     

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum radiosum)

 
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hoverfly (Chrysotoxum spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)

 
     

hoverfly (Helophilus latifrons)

 
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hoverfly (Helophilus spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Pipiza spp.)

 
     

hoverfly (Sphaerophoria brevipilosa)

 
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hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota angustiventris)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota ejuncida)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota nemorum)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota pigra)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota satanica)

 
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hoverfly (Xylota spp.)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota tuberculatus)

 
     

hoverfly (Xylota vecors)

 
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hunchback bee fly (Lepidophora lutea)

 
     

large crane fly (Tipulidae)

 
     

leaf miner fly (Liriomyza eupatoriella)

 
     

lesser bulb fly (Eumerus funeralis)

 
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lesser bulb fly (Eumerus spp.)

 
     

linden wart gall midge (Contarinia verrucicola)

 
     

long hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta)

 
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long-tailed dance fly (Rhamphomyia longicauda)

 
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margined calligrapher (Toxomerus marginatus)

 
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midge (Axarus festivus)

 
     

narcissus bulb fly (Eumerus narcissi)

 
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narrow-headed sun fly (Helophilus fasciatus)

 
     

oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha globosa)

 
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oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha pilulae)

 
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ocellate gall midge (Acericecis ocellaris)

 
     

onion bulb fly (Eumerus strigatus)

 
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orange-horned hammertail (Sphegina campanulata)

 
     

orange-legged drone fly (Eristalis flavipes)

 
     

orange-spined drone fly (Eristalis interrupta)

 
     

orange-spotted drone fly (Eristalis anthophorina)

 
     

ornate snipe fly (Chrysopilus ornatus)

 
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red-tailed flesh fly (Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis)

 
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robber fly (Family Asilidae)

 
     

scaly bee fly (Lepidophora lepidocera)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia cognata)

 
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signal fly (Rivellia colei)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia coquilletti)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia flavimana)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia melliginis)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia metallica)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia munda)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia pallida)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia steyskali)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia variabilis)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia viridulans)

 
     

signal fly (Rivellia winifredae)

 
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small dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)

 
     

snipe fly (Chrysopilus quadratus)

 
     

soldier fly (Hedriodiscus binotatus)

 
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soldier fly (Stratiomys adelpha)

 
     

soldier fly (Stratiomys badia)

 
     

soldier fly (Stratiomys bruneri)

 
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soldier fly (Stratiomys discalis)

 
     

soldier fly (Stratiomys meigenii)

 
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soldier fly (Stratiomys norma)

 
     

soldier fly (Stratiomys normula)

 
     

soldier fly (Stratiomys unilimbata)

 
     

soybean nodule fly (Rivellia quadrifasciata)

 
     

striped horse fly (Tabanus similis)

 
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swift feather-legged fly (Trichopoda pennipes)

 
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syrphid fly (Pseudodoros clavatus)

 
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syrphid fly (Toxomerus geminatus)

 
     

tachinid fly (Compsilura concinnata)

 
     

tachinid fly (Cylindromyia argentia)

 
     

tachinid fly (Cylindromyia carolinae)

 
     

tachinid fly (Cylindromyia euchenor)

 
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tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta)

 
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tachinid fly (Family Tachinidae)

 
     

thick-headed fly (Dalmannia nigriceps)

 
     

thick-headed fly (Physocephala furcillata)

 
     

thick-headed fly (Physocephala marginata)

 
     

thick-headed fly (Physocephala texana)

 
     

thick-headed fly (Physoconops brachyrhynchus)

 
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thick-headed fly (Physoconops obscuripennis)

 
     

thistle stem gall fly (Urophora cardui)

 
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tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea)

 
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transverse flower fly (Eristalis transversa)

 
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tufted globetail (Sphaerophoria contigua)

 
     

walnut husk maggot fly (Rhagoletis suavis)

 
     

wasp-like falsehorn (Temnostoma alternans)

 
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white-spotted pond fly (Sericomyia lata)

 
     

willow cabbagegall midge (Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides)

 
     

willow catkin fly (Egle atomaria)

 
     

willow catkin fly (Egle longipalpis)

 
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willow catkin flies (Egle spp.)

 
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willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)

 
     

willow rosette gall midge (Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides)

 
     

winter crane fly (Trichocera spp.)

 
     

wood nettle gall midge (Dasineura investita)

 
     

wood soldier fly (Xylomya americana)

 
     

wood soldier fly (Xylomya aterrima)

 
     

wood soldier fly (Xylomya tenthredinoides)

 
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wood soldier fly (Xylomya terminalis)

 
     

yellow-shouldered drone fly (Eristalis stipator)

 
     

 

 

 

 

No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left, or the insect does not appear in the list, you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that insect. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the insect in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that insect featuring your contribution.

 

Capitalization of Common Names

Insect scientific names are governed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). Vernacular (common) names are not. In an attempt to “assure the uniformity of (common) names of common insects” the Entomological Society of America (ESA) published Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms. ESA has no rule or guideline that addresses capitalization of common names. However, the database of common names published by ESA does not capitalize common names. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) also uses uncapitalized common names. Most other sources, including ITIS, BAMONA, Odonata Central, and the Peterson Field Guides, capitalize common insect names. MinnesotaSeasons.com will adhere to the convention followed by ESA and NCBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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