Zandvlei Trust

Insects - Flies


Thank you to Jon Richfield who kindly corrected information on this page in December 2014.

Mydidae - Afroleptomydas rufithorax (Wiedemann, 1821). Body length about 35mm. Powerful fliers.

photograogh by Greg Morgan                                                   photograogh by Greg Morgan

Clegs, also called horseflies or blind flies, though they are very sharp-eyed. Adult females frequently bite humans painfully, though they do not carry disease to any extent. Like mosquito males, male clegs mainly feed on nectar on flowers if thy feed at all. Cleg larvae are maggots that live in damp habitats such as mud on the shores of dams, and they feed on other insects such as the larvae of biting midges. Clegs look very plain and grey, but seen under a good lens, they have beautiful patterns of iridescence on their eyes and beautiful patterns on their wings.

photograogh by Greg Morgan                                                        photograogh by Greg Morgan

Bee Fly  Makes a loud humming noise in flight. Often settles on sand.

photograogh by Greg Morgan                            photograogh by Greg Morgan

Biting midge (Ceratopogonidae)      Marsh Fly (Sciomyzidae sepedon) wing span 12mm,
Body length about 3mm.                    Sciomyzidae may be of value as a biological control agent
                                                        in some regions where their larvae kill Bilharzia-carrying snails.

photograogh by Greg Morgan.

In the family Tephritidae one of hundreds of species 
related to the Hawthorn flies.
Wing span 8mm with green
iridescence on eyes, patterns on wings.

photograogh by Greg Morgan

Stable Fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) A bloodsucker of animals.

                                                           photograogh by Greg Morgan

Hover fly family Syrphidae. Important as pollinators and in biological control of aphid pests.

Microdon testaceus is a medium sized bee mimic
in the hover fly family Syrphidae; its larvae live and scavenge in ant nests.

photograogh by Greg Morgan                                                                     photograogh by Greg Morgan

Robber Flies catch and subdue their prey in flight, often wasps, honey bees and grasshoppers.

Large species of Crane fly, family Tipulidae; adults of many species do not feed. Larvae of many species feed on roots of plants.
It is one of the largest families of flies; there are thousands of species.

Kelp Fly (Fucellia capensis) About 10mm long grey in colour.

Small headed fly, Philodera fasciata family Acroceridae. Nectar feeding adults are
recognised by yellow legs striped black and white abdomen. It has a
humped and grey hairy thorax. The larvae are internal parasites of spiders.
They seek out a spider and burrow into it.

Cranefly  (Nephrotoma) Shiny black and yellow body with very long legs. The adults
do not feed, the larvae live in water, moist soil and lawns feeding on plant roots.

Wasp-mimicking Robber fly (possibly Pegesimallus species) makes characteristic abdominal contractions just after alighting. Preys on flying insects such as craneflies and bees.

Drone fly adults are important pollinators, feeding on the nectar of many species of non-tubular flowers such as vygies, members of the carrot family such as Queen Anne's lace, and members of the Asteraceae, the daisy family.

Hippo fly  (Tabanus biguttatus) a large wingspan up to 50 mm. This specimen is small and half the adult size. Adults attack large mammals such as hippos as blood suckers. Their larva feed on insect larva and tadpoles in mud pans.
Unlike the females the males are holoptic, meaning that they have eyes covering the entire top of the head. The females differ considerably, having the thorax covered with white fur with two small black spots in the 
middle of the back."

Greenbottle fly, Phaenicia sericata very common in summer.
It is the preferred species for eating dead flesh from septic wounds,
a procedure known as maggot debridement.

Flesh fly in the family Sarcophagidae.
Identified by the black stripes on the thorax. Common around human habitation.


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