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

 
Willow pinecone gall midge
   

An abnormal growth (gall) on the stems, leaves, or buds of a plant can be formed by many insects, mites, and fungi. Willows are hosts to many parasitic insects, several of which form galls. Only willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides) forms a pinecone-shaped gall at the tip of a willow stem.

The adult midge is a small fly about 3 16 long. It is most often identified by the large distinctive gall that houses the growing larva. The gall appears at the end of a willow stem. It consists of numerous, stunted, overlapping, loosely appressed, scale-like leaves. In the summer it is green, more or less globular, and densely covered with long, white, matted and tangled, woolly hairs. In the fall the cone turns brown and the shape resembles a pine cone.

  common green bottle fly
   
   

Red-tailed flesh fly
   

There are 3 subfamilies, 108 genera, and about 2,500 species of flesh flies (Sarcophagidae). These flies deposit already hatched larvae on carrion, dung, or animal wounds.

The red-tailed flesh fly is often the first or one of the first insects to visit a corpse. This makes them useful in determining the amount of time that has elapsed since a person has died.

This species is identified by three gray stripes on the thorax; gray and black checkerboard pattern on the abdomen; reddish-brown external genitalia at the tip of the abdomen of the male; 4 bristles on the notopleuron (a region on the thorax); a long bristle on the upper side of the antenna that is feathery at the base; well developed lobes at the base of the wing; and an R5 wing cell that is closed or narrowed at the end.

  common green bottle fly
  Photo by Bill Reynolds
   
   
   
   

Common green bottle fly
   

There are many species of green bottle fly. Common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) is certainly the most well known and probably the most scientifically studied green bottle fly in the world. As its common name suggests, it is common and widespread, found in all of the temperate and tropical regions of the planet.

This is often one of the first insects to visit a corpse, sometimes within minutes of death. Forensic scientists use the development of the larva of this species to determine the age of a corpse. Medicinally, the larvae are used on humans to painlessly remove dead or decaying tissue from wounds while leaving healthy tissue untouched and secreting a chemical that promotes tissue regeneration.

This species is identified by three grooves across the thorax and three bristles on the upper middle (dorsal) surface of the middle thoracic section.

  common green bottle fly
  Photo by Bill Reynolds
   
   
   

Hunchback bee fly
   

This is a medium-sized bee fly with a distinctly hunch-backed appearance. It is fairly common and widespread in eastern North America. It’s unusual shape mimics the robber fly. The larvae are kleptoparasitic, eating the collected food in the nests of solitary wasps, and possibly also parasitic, eating the larvae in the host’s nest.

  hunchback bee fly
  Photo by Bill Reynolds

Other Recent Additions
   

small dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)

syrphid fly (Pseudodoros clavatus)

  syrphid fly (Pseudodoros clavatus)
  Photo by Bill Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
     

aster leafminer fly (Calycomyza humeralis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crane fly (Limonia annulata)

common green bottle fly

goldenrod bunch gall midge

goldenrod gall fly

hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)

hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

red-tailed flesh fly

 

 

 

 

syrphid fly (Toxomerous geminatus)

tiger crane fly

willow pinecone gall midge

  Photo  

bee fly (Villa lateralis)

 
     

brown robber fly (Proctacanthella cacopiliga)

 
Profile Photo Photo

common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)

 
     

common oblique syrphid (Allograpta obliqua)

 
     

crane fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne)

 
  Photo  

crane fly (Limonia annulata)

 
  Photo  

crane fly (Tipulomorpha)

 
     

deer fly (Chrysops spp.)

 
     

friendly fly (Sarcophaga aldrichi)

 
     

gall midge (Harmandiola cavernosa)

 
     

giant crane fly (Tipula abdominalis)

 
  Photo Photo

giant robber fly (Promachus vertebratus)

 
  Photo  

goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

 
  Photo Photo

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

 
     

grape gall midge (Schizomyia vitiscoryloides)

 
     

horse fly (Tabanus spp.)

 
     

hoverfly (Helophilus fasciatus)

 
  Photo Photo

hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)

 
  Photo Photo

hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)

 
Profile Photo  

hunchback bee fly (Lepidophora lutea)

 
     

large crane fly (Tipulidae)

 
     

leaf miner fly (Liriomyza eupatoriella)

 
     

linden wart gall midge (Contarinia verrucicola)

 
     

maple eyespot gall midge (Acericecis ocellaris)

 
     

oak leaf gall midge (Polystepha pilulae)

 
Profile Photo Photo

red-tailed flesh fly (Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis)

 
  Photo  

robber fly (Family Asilidae)

 
     

Shurmard’s oak leaf gall (Polystepha pilulae)

 
Profile Photo  

small dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)

 
Profile Photo  

syrphid fly (Pseudodoros clavatus)

 
Profile Photo Photo

syrphid fly (Toxomerus geminatus)

 
  Photo  

syrphid fly (Toxomerus marginatus)

 
  Photo  

tachinid fly (Family Tachinidae)

 
     

tachinid fly (Compsilura concinnata)

 
  Photo Photo

tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea)

 
     

willow cabbagegall midge (Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides)

 
Profile Photo Photo

willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)

 
     

willow rosette gall midge (Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides)

 
     

winter crane fly (Trichocera spp.)

 
         

7          

 

Profile= Profile

Photo = Photo

Photo = Video

 

No Page for a Species Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video 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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