Minnesota Flies

 
Order Diptera
 

Diptera (flies) 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.

eastern calligrapher

 

 

           
Recent Additions
     
Ferruginous tiger crane fly
     

With over 15,000 described species, the family Tipulidae (crane flies) is one of the largest families of true flies (Diptera). More than 1,600 species occur in North America. The subfamily Tipulinae (large crane flies) contains the largest of the crane flies. In North America, the vast majority of species are in the genera Tipula and Nephrotoma. The genus Nephrotoma (tiger crane flies) contains about 150 described species. The most common of these is ferruginous tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea).

“Ferruginous” means reddish-brown or rust colored, but ferruginous tiger crane fly is more often described as orange in color. It is distinguished from other crane flies by the body color, the antennae that are entirely black except for the first two segments, and by a black spot at each end of a groove across the thorax.

  ferruginous tiger crane fly
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
     
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.

  band-winged crane fly
  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
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
Other Recent Additions
     

aphideater (Eupeodes subg. Metasyrphus)

slender smoothtail (Epistrophella emarginata)

thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens)

hoverfly (Platycheirus spp.)

eastern band-winged hover fly (Hypocritanus fascipennis)

orange-legged drone fly (Eristalis flavipes)

  aphideater (Eupeodes subg. Metasyrphus)
  Photo by Alfredo Colon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

This list includes only flies that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the flies found in Minnesota.

             
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American hover fly

aphideater (Eupeodes subg. Metasyrphus)

band-winged crane fly

bare-bellied falsehorn

bare-eyed mimic

bee fly (Villa lateralis)

bee-like robber fly (Laphria index)

bee-like robber fly (Laphria sp.)

black-shouldered drone fly

blue-green bottle fly

bristle fly (Leskia similis)

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.)

early tachinid fly

eastern band-winged hover fly

eastern calligrapher

eastern hornet fly

fly (Order Diptera)

ferruginous tiger crane fly

flat-footed fly (Agathomyia sp.)

flutter fly (Toxonevra superba)

four-lined hornet fly

four-speckled hover fly

giant robber fly (vertebratus)

golden dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

goldenrod bunch gall midge

goldenrod gall fly

grasshopper bee fly

heleomyzid fly (Suillia quinquepunctata)

horse fly

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum sp.)

hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)

hoverfly (Platycheirus sp.)

hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

hoverfly (Xylota sp.)

hunchback bee fly

large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)

margined calligrapher

lesser bulb fly (Eumerus sp.)

linden wart gall midge

long-tailed dance fly

marsh fly (Dictya expansa)

midge (Axarus festivus)

narrow-headed marsh fly

non-biting midge (Chironomus sp.)

non-biting midge (Demeijerea brachialis)

non-biting midge (Tribe Chironomini)

oak leaf gall midge

ocellate gall midge

orange-horned hammertail

orange-legged drone fly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

quadrate snipe fly

red-tailed flesh fly

rodent bot fly (Cuterebra sp.)

root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)

shaved horse fly

signal fly (Rivellia colei)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

slender smoothtail

small dung fly (Sphaeroceridae)

soldier fly (Stratiomys adelpha or discalis)

soldier fly (Stratiomys norma)

 

 

 

stink fly

swift feather-legged fly

tachinid fly (Archytas apicifer)

tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta)

tachinid fly (Thelaira americana)

tachinid fly (Xanthomelanodes arcuatus)

 

 

 

thick-headed fly (Physoconops obscuripennis)

thick-legged hoverfly

transverse flower fly

tufted globetail

violet leafwalker

 

 

 

white-spotted pond fly

willow catkin fly (Egle sp.)

willow pinecone gall midge

 

 

 

 

 

wood soldier fly (Xylomya terminalis)

woolly-tailed marsh fly

yellow-shouldered drone fly

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American hover fly (Eupeodes americanus)

 
       

American snout fly (Rhingia nasica)

 
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aphideater (Eupeodes subg. Metasyrphus)

 
       

antlered crane fly (Tanyptera dorsalis)

 
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aster leafminer (Calycomyza humeralis)

 
       

bald-faced hornet fly (Spilomyia fusca)

 
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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)

 
       

bare-winged aphideater (Eupeodes perplexus)

 
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bee fly (Villa lateralis)

 
       

bee-like robber fly (Laphria canis)

 
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bee-like robber fly (Laphria index)

 
       

bee-like robber fly (Laphria ithypyga)

 
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bee-like robber fly (Laphria spp.)

 
       

benign deer fly (Chrysops mitis)

 
       

bird hover fly (Eupeodes volucris)

 
       

black fly (Family Simuliidae)

 
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black horse fly (Tabanus atratus)

 
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black onion fly (Tritoxa flexa)

 
       

black spur fly (Teuchocnemis lituratus)

 
       

black-footed globetail (Sphaerophoria philanthus)

 
       

black-horned pufftail (Sphegina rufiventris)

 
       

black-legged bog fly (Parhelophilus flavifacies)

 
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black-shouldered drone fly (Eristalis dimidiata)

 
       

black-spotted falsehorn (Temnostoma excentrica)

 
       

blackjack oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha globosa)

 
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blue-green bottle fly (Lucilia coeruleiviridis)

 
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bristle fly (Leskia similis)

 
       

broad-banded hornet fly (Spilomyia alcimus)

 
       

broad-headed marsh fly (Helophilus latifrons)

 
       

broad-striped globetail (Sphaerophoria brevipilosa)

 
       

Brooks’ bog fly (Parhelophilus brooksi)

 
       

brown robber fly (Proctacanthella cacopiliga)

 
       

brown-footed horse fly (Tabanus fulvicallus)

 
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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)

 
       

Canada thistle stem gall fly (Urophora cardui)

 
       

chained horse fly (Tabanus catenatus)

 
       

common bog fly (Parhelophilus laetus)

 
       

common drone fly (Eristalis tenax)

 
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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)

 
       

common picture-winged fly (Delphinia picta)

 
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common snipe fly (Rhagio mystaceus)

 
       

common thickleg (Tropidia quadrata)

 
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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.)

 
       

devil’s leafwalker (Chalcosyrphus satanica)

 
       

dimorphic sickleleg (Polydontomyia curvipes)

 
       

dung fly (Scathophaga furcata)

 
       

dusky bog fly (Parhelophilus rex)

 
       

dusky mucksucker (Orthonevra pulchella)

 
       

dusky-banded leafwalker (Chalcosyrphus nemorum)

 
       

dusky-veined mucksucker (Orthonevra pictipennis)

 
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early tachinid fly (Epalpus signifer)

 
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eastern band-winged hover fly (Hypocritanus fascipennis)

 
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eastern calligrapher (Toxomerus geminatus)

 
       

eastern catkin fly (Brachypalpus oarus)

 
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eastern hornet fly (Spilomyia longicornis)

 
       

eastern swiftwing (Volucella evecta)

 
       

ebony pithead (Pipiza atrata)

 
       

European crane fly (Tipula paludosa)

 
       

European drone fly (Eristalis arbustorum)

 
       

face fly (Musca autumnalis)

 
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false bee-killer (Promachus bastardii)

 
       

fen flies (Neoascia spp.)

 
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ferruginous tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea)

 
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flat-footed fly (Agathomyia spp.)

 
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flies (Order Diptera)

 
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flutter fly (Toxonevra superba)

 
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four-lined hornet fly (Spilomyia sayi)

 
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four-speckled hover fly (Dioprosopa clavata)

 
       

friendly fly (Sarcophaga aldrichi)

 
       

fruit fly (Trupanea actinobola)

 
       

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)

 
       

gnat ogre (Holcocephala abdominalis)

 
       

gnat ogre (Holcocephala calva)

 
       

goldenback (Pterallastes thoracicus)

 
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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)

 
       

hairy-eyed mimic (Mallota posticata)

 
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heleomyzid fly (Suillia quinquepunctata)

 
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horse fly (Tabanus spp.)

 
       

horse fly (Tabanus turbidus)

 
       

house fly (Musca domestica)

 
       

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum fasciolatum)

 
       

hoverfly (Chrysotoxum laterale)

 
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hoverfly (Chrysotoxum spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Epistrophe spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Helophilus spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Pipiza spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Platycheirus spp.)

 
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hoverfly (Subfamily Syrphinae)

 
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hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

 
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hoverfly (Xylota spp.)

 
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hunchback bee fly (Lepidophora lutea)

 
       

lagomorph bot fly (Cuterebra buccata)

 
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large crane flies (Family Tipulidae)

 
       

large crane fly (Angarotipula illustris)

 
       

large crane fly (Platytipula ultima)

 
       

large crane fly (Tipula dorsimacula)

 
       

large crane fly (Yamatotipula caloptera)

 
       

large crane fly (Yamatotipula furca)

 
       

lesser bulb fly (Eumerus funeralis)

 
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lesser bulb fly (Eumerus spp.)

 
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linden wart gall midge (Contarinia verrucicola)

 
       

long hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta)

 
       

long-horned yellowjacket fly (Sphecomyia vittata)

 
       

long-nosed swamp fly (Eurimyia stipata

 
   

 

 

long-spined pufftail (Sphegina petiolata)

 
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long-tailed dan ce fly (Rhamphomyia longicauda)

 
       

longlegged fly (Condylostylus nigrofemoratus)

 
       

longlegged fly (Dolichopus spp.)

 
       

marginal horse fly (Tabanus marginalis)

 
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margined calligrapher (Toxomerus marginatus)

 
       

marsh crane fly (Tipula oleracea)

 
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marsh fly (Dictya spp.)

 
       

marsh greenbottle fly (Lucilia silvarum)

 
       

midwestern mimic (Mallota illinoensis)

 
       

narcissus bulb fly (Merodon equestris)

 
       

narrow-banded meadow fly (Chrysotoxum derivatum)

 
       

narrow-banded pond fly (Sericomyia militaris)

 
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narrow-headed marsh fly (Helophilus fasciatus)

 
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non-biting midge (Axarus festivus)

 
       

non-biting midge (Chironomus atroviridis)

 
       

non-biting midge (Chironomus riparius)

 
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non-biting midge (Chironomus spp.)

 
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non-biting midge (Demeijerea brachialis)

 
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non-biting midges (Tribe Chironomini)

 
       

Nova Scotia horse fly (Tabanus novaescotiae)

 
       

oak apple gall wasps (Amphibolips spp.)

 
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oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha pilulae)

 
       

oblique-banded pond fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides)

 
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ocellate gall midge (Acericecis ocellaris)

 
       

onion bulb fly (Eumerus strigatus)

 
       

orange-hipped leafwalker (Chalcosyrphus vecors)

 
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orange-horned hammertail (Sphegina campanulata)

 
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orange-legged drone fly (Eristalis flavipes)

 
       

orange-spined drone fly (Eristalis interrupta)

 
       

orange-spotted drone fly (Eristalis anthophorina)

 
       

ornate snipe fly (Chrysopilus ornatus)

 
       

picture-winged fly (Tritoxa incurva)

 
       

polished leafwalker (Xylota ejuncida)

 
       

pond olive (Cloeon dipterum)

 
       

punctate meadow fly (Chrysotoxum radiosum)

 
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quadrate snipe fly (Chrysopilus quadratus)

 
       

rabbit bot fly (Cuterebra buccata)

 
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red-tailed flesh fly (Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis)

 
       

Reinwardt’s horse fly (Tabanus reinwardtii)

 
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robber fly (Family Asilidae)

 
       

rodent bot fly (Cuterebra grisea)

 
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rodent bot fly (Cuterebra spp.)

 
       

rodent bot fly (Cuterebra sterilator)

 
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root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)

 
       

sage horse fly (Tabanus sagax)

 
       

scaled pegleg (Myolepta strigilata)

 
       

scaly bee fly (Lepidophora lepidocera)

 
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shaved horse fly (Stonemyia rasa)

 
       

short-haired leafwalker (Chalcosyrphus piger)

 
       

short-spined leafwalker (Xylota tuberculata)

 
       

short-tailed aphideater (Eupeodes pomus)

 
       

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)

 
       

similar horse fly (Tabanus similis)

 
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slender smoothtail (Epistrophella emarginata)

 
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small dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)

 
       

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)

 
       

spot-headed aphideater (Eupeodes neoperplexus)

 
       

spotted wood fly (Somula decora)

 
       

spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)

 
       

squirrel bot fly (Cuterebra emasculator)

 
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stink fly (Coenomyia ferruginea)

 
       

striped horse fly (Tabanus lineola)

 
       

stygian horse fly (Tabanus stygius)

 
       

sumac gall pithead (Pipiza puella)

 
       

sunflower bullet gall midge (Pilodiplosis helianthibulla)

 
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swift feather-legged fly (Trichopoda pennipes)

 
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tachinid fly (Archytas apicifer)

 
       

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)

 
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tachinid fly (Thelaira americana)

 
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tachinid fly (Xanthomelanodes arcuatus)

 
       

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)

 
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thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens)

 
       

thistle stem gall fly (Urophora cardui)

 
       

three-spotted horse fly (Tabanus trimaculatus)

 
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transverse flower fly (Eristalis transversa)

 
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tufted globetail (Sphaerophoria contigua)

 
       

two-lined swamp fly (Lejops bilinearis)

 
       

two-spotted leafwalker (Xylota angustiventris)

 
       

unadorned bog fly (Parhelophilus obsoletus)

 
       

variable aphideater (Eupeodes latifasciatus)

 
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violet leafwalker (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

 
       

walnut husk maggot fly (Rhagoletis suavis)

 
       

wasp-like falsehorn (Temnostoma alternans)

 
       

wavy mucksucker (Orthonevra nitida)

 
       

white snakeroot leaf miner (Liriomyza eupatoriella)

 
       

white-haired pithead (Pipiza femoralis)

 
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white-spotted pond fly (Sericomyia lata)

 
       

Williston’s wasp fly (Sphiximorpha willistoni)

 
       

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)

 
       

Winnebago lake fly (Chironomus plumosus)

 
       

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)

 
    Video  

woolly-tailed marsh fly (Helophilus hybridus)

 
       

yellow-faced swiftwing (Volucella facialis)

 
       

yellow-haired falsehorn (Temnostoma balyras)

 
Profile Photo    

yellow-shouldered drone fly (Eristalis stipator)

 
       

yellow-spotted pond fly (Sericomyia transversa)

 
       

yellow-spotted sapeater (Brachyopa vacua)

 
       

yellowjacket hover fly (Milesia virginiensis)

 
       

 

 

 

 

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.

These buttons not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.

 

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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