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

BugGuide is a National Moth Week Partner. How to add your National Moth Week 2021 photos. July 17-25.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 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

Previous events


Genus Milesia

Very cool mimicry - Milesia virginiensis Attracted to my roses - Milesia virginiensis Yellowjacket Hover Fly - Milesia virginiensis - female Milesia bella BIG (Hover?) fly - Milesia virginiensis - female Bee, Wasp or Fly - Milesia virginiensis Milesia scutellata? - Milesia scutellata unknown insect - Milesia virginiensis - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Family Syrphidae (Hover Flies)
Subfamily Eristalinae
Tribe Milesiini
Subtribe Milesiina
Genus Milesia
Explanation of Names
Milesia Latreille 1804
3 spp. in our area(1), ~80 worldwide(2)
~20 mm
Large syrphids with cylindrical bodies, mimic wasps, in particular, hornets. Have buzzy flight, likely mimicry.
Pictorial key to US species:
worldwide, by far most diverse in so. Asia(2); in our area, 1 sp. widespread in the east, one in se. US (NC-FL-TX) + one in sw. US (AZ-NM)(3)
Summer; in NC, M. virginiensis May-Sep (to Nov at low elevations), M. scutellata May-Jun(4)
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on wet decaying heartwood in rot-holes(5)
Print References
Hull, F. M. 1924. Milesia in North America (Dipt.: Syrphidae). Entomological News 35: 280-282. (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Key to the genera of nearctic Syrphidae
Miranda G.F.G, Young A.D., Locke M.M., Marshall S.A., Skevington J.H., Thompson F.C. 2013. Can. J. Arthropod Identification 23: 1-351.
2.The genus Milesia Latreille (Diptera Syrphidae)
Hippa H. 1990. Acta Zoologica Fennica 187: 1-226.
3.Thompson F.C., Pape T., Evenhuis N.L. (2013) Systema Dipterorum, Version 1.5
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.Phylogeny of Palaearctic Syrphidae (Diptera): evidence from larval stages
Rotheray G., Gilbert F. 1999. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 127: 1-112.