Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Eristalis tenax - Drone Fly

Is this a drone fly? - Eristalis tenax - male Eristalis arbustorum? - Eristalis tenax - male Weird Bee - Eristalis tenax - male Drone Fly (Eristalis Subgenus Eristalis)? - Eristalis tenax Syrphidae - Eristalis tenax Bee fly? - Eristalis tenax Unknown Thing - Eristalis tenax Unknown Thing - Eristalis tenax
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Family Syrphidae (Syrphid Flies)
Subfamily Eristalinae
Tribe Eristalini
Subtribe Eristalina
Genus Eristalis
No Taxon (Subgenus Eristalis)
Species tenax (Drone Fly)
Explanation of Names
Author of species is Linnaeus, 1758.
Size
10-12 mm
13-15 mm (Canada)
Measures in Bugguide rank between 12 and 15 mm.
Identification
Its body is darkish brown with orange yellow patches on the sides and upper surface, and it is covered with short fine hairs. It looks remarkably like a honeybee (Apis mellifera).
The different species of Eristalis are very difficult to distinguish, but Eristalis tenax is one of the commonest of these honeybee mimics.
It has two vertical bands of hairs on the eyes.
Range
From Alaska to Labrador and south into California and Florida.
Season
Late March to early December; most common in September and October.
Food
The adults feed on nectar from flowers and are often seen hovering in front of flower blooms in gardens in both urban and rural areas. The larvae feed on rotting organic material in stagnant water in a variety of locations.
Life Cycle
The larva of the Drone-Fly feeds on decaying organic material in stagnant water in small ponds, ditches and drains. Such water usually contains little or no oxygen and the larva breathes through the long thin tube that extends from its rear end to the surface of the water and that gives it its common name of ‘rat-tailed maggot’.
Remarks
Introduced in North America prior to 1874.