Currently viewing the category: "March Flies and Lovebugs"

Subject:  Dozens of these guys all of a sudden.
Geographic location of the bug:  Eagle River, Alaska
Date: 09/08/2021
Time: 01:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A couple days ago I noticed dozens of these guys all over my deck, cars, and front of house. Not sure where they came from or what they are. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  Bryan

March Fly

Dear Bryan,
This is a March Fly in the family Bibionidae and probably the genus
Bibio.  They often appear in great numbers and then just as suddenly they will be gone.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose “swarms” and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber (Plecia lay eggs on the soil surface). Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).”

Thanks for the quick info and links. Now at least I know what I’m dealing with. Hopefully they disappear again soon.
All the best,

Subject:  Many found on goldenrod
Geographic location of the bug:  Greenport, LI, NY  eastern end of Long Island ny
Date: 09/14/2019
Time: 07:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Photographed these today and cannot identify
How you want your letter signed:  Amy

March Flies

Dear Amy,
Based on this BugGuide image, these appear to be March Flies in the genus
Dilophus.  There are numerous images of Dilophus spinipes on goldenrod on BugGuide.

Thank you so much!   I truly appreciate your help!

Subject:  Large Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Darlington, County Durham
Date: 07/30/2019
Time: 07:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello there. Can you please help me identify this fly?
I found it in the kitchen after a party and it appeared to be sucking the surface of the cake lid.
I lifted it outside and it is still there this morning.
Is it friend or foe? I’d like to help it if needs be.
How you want your letter signed:  Victoria

March Fly

Dear Victoria,
This is a female March Fly in the family Bibionidae, a group sometimes called St. Mark’s Flies in the UK, though that common name might refer to only a single species in the genus Bibio.  Based on images posted to NatureSpot, your individual might be
Bibio johannis, or possibly Bibio pomonae, the Heather Fly.

March Fly

Subject:  Black-orange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  New Brunswick, Canada
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 10:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
On May 31st 2019 I have found a large number of these strange bugs appearing here in New Brunswick, Canada and also in Maine, USA. They do not seem to harm anything. I have seen them in clusters of over 1,000. They are fly like and have orange and black segmented legs. Wings have markings. The antennae are very short, maybe around 2mm. I have looked all over the internet at thousands of bugs and can not find anything anywhere. Any help would be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  JP

March Fly

Dear JP,
This is a March Fly in the family Bibionidae, and during mating season, there may be great numbers of adults emerging and mating, and then vanishing as quickly as they appeared.  We believe your individual might be a female
Bibio xanthopus, and you can see an image of a sexually dimorphic male which has much larger eyes pictured on BugGuide.

Subject:  Flying insect, about1/4”
Geographic location of the bug:  High desert Reno NV among the sagebrush
Date: 05/11/2019
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Tons of them flying around in my empty lot
How you want your letter signed:  Nn2036

Male March Fly

Dear Nn2036
This is a March Fly in the family Bibionidae, and the large head and large eyes indicate it is a male.  Inspect them more closely and you should find small headed females as well as mating pairs.  Based on BugGuide images, we believe this March Fly is
Bibio albipennis because of its clear wings.

Subject:  unknown insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Lynnwood
Date: 04/06/2018
Time: 01:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found several of these insects on the emerging leaves of a red currant.  Can you tell me what they are and whether they are innocuous or harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Nancy Wyatt

March Fly

Dear Nancy,
We believe this is a Stiletto Fly in the family Therevidae, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults are nectar feeders; larvae prey on soil arthropods.”  Several species are pictured on Natural History of Orange County, but none looks exactly like your individual.  ResearchGate has some images of Australian Stiletto Flies that look similar to your individual.  We hope to get a second opinion on our identification.

Wow, that was fast!  I’m sure you’re right about the identification.
I do so much appreciate your interest and expertise.  And I gained more knowledge about my insect neighbors.
The fly larvae can eat all the soil arthropods they like from my garden!

Eric Eaton provides a correction:  March Fly
Sorry, I am “out of the office,” hence the delay in replying.  This is a dance fly, probably genus Empis.  Probably female, too.  Pretty common early spring flies in the Pacific coast states.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Ed. Note:  Once Eric Eaton provided us with a genus name, we did find this individual from Ireland posted to Alamy and this individual from California posted to BugGuide.

Well, that sounds a lot more peaceful than “stiletto fly”.  I either case I don’t have to worry about the larvae eating my currant plants.  It’s a real struggle saving them from the aphids in the spring. I’m so impressed that you and your colleagues would provide this service, which I have bookmarked and will recommend to all my friends in the gardening community here.