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

2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia July 27-29: Registration and Discussion

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

Dance Fly? - male

Dance Fly? - Male
Kent East Hill, King County, Washington, USA
April 7, 2012
Size: ~1 cm
There are way too many species of flies. My guess is that this is some kind of soldier fly (Family Stratiomyidae) and is based on following a dichotomous key(1). Castner puts this family under Suborder Brachycera where this website does not. I found some discussion relating to this on this website at
This is one of my first attempts at photographing insects without a tripod--shooting hand-held. The ISO for all these photos is too high (800 to 1600) and will be much lower for the next ones.
I am curious about two structures I noticed in these photos--in one photo you can see what appears to be some kind of paddle shaped appendage beneath the wing. The other structure that puzzles me is the oddly bent shape of the end of the abdomen. What are these?

Images of this individual: tag all
Dance Fly? - male Dance Fly? - male Dance Fly? - male

Moved from Dance Flies.

Moved for expert attention
Moved from ID Request.

I'd start
in Empididae.

The structure under the wing is a haltere.

Yes, Dance Fly
Thank you for reminding me about halteres. I should have recognized that.
So I found several photos of dance flies at Looks like a match for a male dance fly Rhamphomyia longicauda. The image of the male even shows the same oddly bent abdomen tip.
I'm going to edit my submission title. Thank you! :)

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