Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Milesia virginiensis - Yellowjacket Hover Fly

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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 Milesiini
Subtribe Milesiina
Genus Milesia
Species virginiensis (Yellowjacket Hover Fly)
Other Common Names
Virginia Flower Fly
Explanation of Names
Milesia virginiensis (Drury 1773)
18-21 mm
Large syrphid that resembles a hornet; has much lighter wings, wider dark bands on abdomen than M. scutellata(1)
believed to be a mimic of the Southern Yellowjacket
e. NA (ON-MN south to FL-TX)(2)
Mid-summer into early fall: Jun-Aug in OK(1), May-Nov in NC(3)
Flies aggressively and buzzes like a hornet. In the south, sometimes called the '[good] news bee' for its habit of hovering in front of a person "giving the news". It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do(4)
Print References
Works Cited
1.Syrphidae of Oklahoma (Diptera)
Shorter D.A., Drew W.A. 1976. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 56: 75-94.
2.Thompson F.C., Pape T., Evenhuis N.L. (2013) Systema Dipterorum, Version 1.5
3.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
4.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.
5.National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America
Arthur V. Evans. 2007. Sterling.