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Mydas Fly - Mydas maculiventris - female

Mydas Fly - Mydas maculiventris - Female
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA
June 18, 2004
This photo was taken at the Frenchman's Forest Natural Area.

Polistes mimic
I just saw what apparently was this species here in Durham, NC, (flew off as I was about to click the shutter). It is a very good mimic of a Polistes, looking similar to what is likely Polistes metricus, such as:

Could be...
Though I don't recall it flying like a wasp...hmmm....

Printed illustration of this
There are two large photos of what is clearly this specie on page 134 of Deyrup, Florida's Fabulous Insects. (1) Unfortunately, it is not identified other than to family. You might inquire of Deyrup--I have e-mailed him a question or two about photos in that book, and he was very helpful. (He'd be a great one to get as an editor on BugGuide, so maybe you can refer him to this image and he will become interested.)

His home page is here.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Do they attack people??
I do not know much about these, and i could be wrong about the species,let alone class, but, I got bitten by an insect similar to this, this morning. could you help me identify it? It had orange on it and when i knocked it off of me (which was difficult to do, its a bit flat), it flew back, right to the same spot, twice!! Next it attacked some other members of my family. I've seen a couple of them before,here in Botswana and how they come back to the same spot no matter how far you run amazes me.

Mydas flies don't attack people!
They are typically wasp *mimics*...but they don't have stingers, so can not sting. Nor do they "bite". Though they can look scary, they are basically harmless to humans.

The insect behavior you described sounds more like a horse fly (Tabanidae)...they can be aggressive biters and are commonly confused with other insects.

From the characters visible in the picture I can see it is the subfamily Mydinae but I would need a picture of the face in more anterior view to be certain of the genus. Since Mydas is the most speciose genus in that subfamily, the chances are that it is Mydas. My knowledge on the family is all from books. Someone with more experience might be able to tell you straight away.


Mydas maculiventris
In an email to me, B. C. Kondratieff said this "is a female
of Mydas maculiventris Westwood, a red morph."

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