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

Information, 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

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Mexican Cactus Fly - Copestylum mexicanum

Mexican Cactus Fly - Copestylum mexicanum
Jupiter Ridge Natural Area, Florida, USA
July 10, 2004
This was a BIG fly, almost 2 cm in length. I'm not sure if it is a Horse Fly, it's so robust in shape. I don't know much about flies, so any help would great:)

My guess would be a species of Copestylum, see


C. mexicana
This thing apparently breeds in decaying cacti. I found one in Cincinnati once, way outside its normal southerly range, perhaps having come in on a nursery shipment. The previous name was Volucella mexicana, and older books still label it as such.

Cacti present
This makes sense Eric,

There are prckly pear cacti in the scrubbier areas of Jupiter Ridge (in fact not far from where this photo was taken) that would explain it:)

Yeah, Volucella...
When I saw the picture Volucella was my first thought but checking the Manual of Nearctic Diptera I found there was only one species (possible introduced from Europe because we have it here as well), but there were also two related genera. Of these, Copestylum was the most likely option. According to the Manual the most comprehensive literature available for identification (by Curran) still treated it under Volucella.


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