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

Upcoming Events

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

Unidentified Michigan Syrphids - Toxomerus marginatus

Unidentified Michigan Syrphids - Toxomerus marginatus
Wolverine Lake, Oakland County, Michigan, USA
May 27, 2007
Here is the only other photo I was able to catch, these little buggers move QUICK! ;)I don't think this insect resembles anything I have seen on the site...The stripes are somewhat muted, and the abdomen has a very distinct sunburst Les Paul guitar paintjob colour to it, the very tail end having almost a rose hue. The legs and head where the antennae come out are also very white coloured, unlike anything I have seen here. A very lovely bug, I think! :)
P.S. How to tell if the specimen is male or female? Would the female have a visible ovipositor, or would the male have claspers on his rear, or some other distinctive features? Please educate me, I am very new to getting serious about the insect world!

Moved from Syrphid Flies.

I took the liberty of cropping your image so the system doesn't have to shrink it to fit on the page.

It's still hard to make out the patterns on the back of the abdomen and thorax, and the wing venation is just not visible, but with a bit of imagination one could persuade oneself that it might match Toxomerus marginatus:

An actual expert might be able to confirm or elaborate, but I'm not optimistic.

One thing I can confirm: most male syrphids have eyes that meet in the middle, while the females have some space between them (I understand there are exceptions, though). That would no doubt make those in your other image males.

The body is shaped a bit differently on my flies than the Marginatus shown; more spatulate, rather than round...and notice how much lighter the striped markings are, they are not black at all! Have I photographed a regional mutation, maybe? I will try to get some better pics in the light of day! I'm sure they will be back...I will keep my eyes peeled for the eggs, too. Where should I be looking on the plants for them?

It's really hard to compare these images with others in the guide, because these are from the side, and most of the others are from above. Also, a female with eggs in her abdomen is going to have a more rounded shape than males.

As for the eggs, I've never seen them, but I have seen the larvae: they eat aphids, so you'll find them among populations of those.

This is THE closest photo to the fly in question that I have found:
This one has similar scant, muted, dark markings. I'm still waiting for them to come back today, I have been checking for them...

Revisiting that image.
It's a lightly marked T. marginatus.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.