Minnesota Insects


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.


bee fly (Villa lateralis)


crane fly (Limonia annulata)





giant robber fly





goldenrod bunch gall midge





goldenrod gall fly





hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)





hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)






syrphid fly (Toxomerous geminatus)





tiger crane fly



brown robber fly (Proctacanthella cacopiliga)


common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)


common oblique syrphid (Allograpta obliqua)


crane fly (Limonia annulata)


deer fly (Chrysops sp.)


friendly fly (Sarcophaga aldrichi)


gall midge (Harmandiola cavernosa)


giant crane fly (Tipula abdominalis)

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giant robber fly (Promachus vertebratus)


goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

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goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

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hoverfly (Helophilus hybridus)

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hoverfly (Syrphus torvus)


leaf miner fly (Liriomyza eupatoriella)


linden wart gall midge (Contarinia verrucicola)


robber fly (Family Asilidae)


Shurmard’s oak leaf gall (Polystepha pilulae)

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syrphid fly (Toxomerus geminatus)


syrphid fly (Toxomerus marginatus)


tachinid fly (Family Tachinidae)


tachinid fly (Compsilura concinnata)

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tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea)


willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)












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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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