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wasp? or Fly? Toplef10wasp? or Fly? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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wasp? or Fly?

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Post  bbroomm 3/18/2015, 7:20 pm

Hi again.  I opened a container with horse manure today to check on it.  There was maybe a dozen or more of these little buggers in it.  They fly.  Shocked  I've spent about the last 2 hours trying to figure out what they are.  Maybe I made a new bug cause I can't find it anywhere.
I tried a ton of links from old posts here too.  Red head/body, 6 black and red legs, white ankles, clear wings, black butt.
wasp? or Fly? Img_1810
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Any ideas?  They kinda frieked me out.  I jumped over my railing and knocked on the front door to get back inside.  They kinda made a barrier around the patio and I was afraid to walk past them.  I watched one do like this little dance where it looked like if it was poisonous that it was spitting out the poison from his butt.  No affraid Shocked thinking
Thanks


Last edited by camprn on 3/19/2015, 2:01 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : expanded title)
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Post  sanderson 3/18/2015, 8:39 pm

Dung fly?  http://bugguide.net/node/view/397948

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Post  camprn 3/18/2015, 9:20 pm

Bugguide.net is the best!

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Post  bbroomm 3/18/2015, 9:46 pm

first off, how was that so easy for you?
second, i dunno.  it looks like it in that picture minus the white ankles.  But every single other picture is nothing like it.
http://www.insects.org/entophiles/dipt_005.html
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/173727/dung-fly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scathophagidae
http://www.asktheexterminator.com/flies/Dung_Fly.shtml
etc etc.
but it makes sense considering where they came from.  That's where I started my search was looking for a manure fly/wasp.
Why would they look so different?  babies maybe?
thanks again
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Post  sanderson 3/19/2015, 12:57 am

Newly hatched?  They would be adults once they emerge from the pupae case, but maybe not fully pumped up or fed?  They look sort of like a black soldier fly.

BTW, the BSF larva are great composters, even things you would not feed your red worms.  You should check out a couple of composting videos on YouTube.  I dump the peach and other fleshy pits, egg plant, etc. into their box and they are so active eating the you can hear them.
cucumbers:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVjjc4uVaz4
hamburger:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaoVBlS8iVA

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Post  bbroomm 3/19/2015, 1:17 am

Those videos are like wow.  I didn't even stick around long enough to see if there were any larvae in there.  I just saw how many flies there were and I saw they were flying out.  affraid  But now that I know its' safe to go back out there... Laughing I'll go do some investigating....and clean up the mess I left.
Thanks again.
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Post  sanderson 3/19/2015, 1:35 am

bbroomm wrote: But now that I know its' safe to go back out there... Laughing I'll go do some investigating....and clean up the mess I left.
OM Goodness, I can just picture your speedy exit (or entrance in this case). Very Happy

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Post  sanderson 3/19/2015, 1:37 am

Just for clarification, the BSF and dung fly are different.

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Post  Judy McConnell 3/19/2015, 2:00 pm

I suspect that what you have is black soldier fly:  http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/
wasp? or Fly? Bsf-closeup-cropped-e1401678470180

Why are yours so light in color?  If they just emerged from pupa casing, will take a while to darken to normal color.

Hope this helps
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Post  Pollinator 3/19/2015, 4:07 pm

My vote is for the dung fly - the antennae are shorter than a soldier fly. It's definitely not a wasp, as the antennae are way too short.
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Post  bbroomm 3/20/2015, 12:19 am

Thanks for the help everyone.  So just a regular (or at least common among gardening/composting) fly, whichever one it is, and not a new species  Laughing.  I just thought the legs were way too long to be a fly.
When I went back out there, they were nowhere to be found.  So I don't know where they went, but I suppose they figured their job was done and went off to enjoy a vacation.  I stirred around the manure, didn't see any more or anything that resembled a egg/larvae.  Not that I'm sure I would be able to identify it.  I find it odd that they just took off if that's what they were there for.  And that when I opened the bucket they were already at the top trying to get out.  
But alas, another mystery solved thanks to you guys!  wasp? or Fly? 3170584802
Thanks again
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Post  Allyn 3/20/2015, 1:15 am

OMG! Thank you so much for posting this. I saw one of these today (mine was more black, but it looked like your pics) and I ran into the house. I have a terrible bee phobia. (My definition of "bee" includes bees, wasps, hornets, any flying stinging insect, any insect that looks like it might fly and sting as well as any flying insect that has not yet been identified as NOT being a bee.) This was so helpful. Thank you!
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Post  sanderson 3/20/2015, 3:29 am

Allyn,  Your fear of flying insects is not unusual.  But, there are certain flying things that will really help out a veggie garden as far as pollinating.  I was scared to death of black bumble bees until I joined the Forum in 2013.  Until then, I would run in the house and my husband would have to go out and spray it.  Well, now I know they are basically benign and help pollinate my squash and even cantaloupe and cucumbers.  Now I just go do something else until it moves on.  I try to listen to the sound to figure out if something is a bee, fly, or wasp/yellow jacket.

We all know what a fly sounds like, a definite buzz.  There is a little fly that looks like a small or emaciated bee.  It is the syrphid fly (syrphidae) and another good pollinator.  They took care of pollinating my tomatillos. They have a lighter buzz, bzzzz, like a fly.  The black soldier fly also buzzes like a fly but kind of louder.  I used to think they were wasps and killed them.  Now I feel bad.  Sad They are great for composting wet, rotten foods.  Their castings can be used like worm castings.  Bees have a softer buzz, more like a hum, especially when there are a lot of them.  They also aren't interested in you.  I quit wearing any kind of perfume or smelly lotion while working in the garden.  I think they were just checking out the smell.  Wasps and yellow jackets still scare me, though.  But I no longer make a 3 second dash into the house.  More like a stroll. Very Happy

Google or Bing photos of these critters until you have a general idea of what they look like.  This may help ease (not get rid of necessarily) the fear of some flying critters.

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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/20/2015, 9:14 am

Allyn, given the fact that a flying bug "might" be dangerous, it's not surprising about having a phobia about them. 

My DH is allergic to bee stings, so he swats at whatever is flying around him... doesn't matter what it is!
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Post  camprn 3/20/2015, 9:48 am

Allyn wrote: I have a terrible bee phobia. (My definition of "bee" includes bees, wasps, hornets, any flying stinging insect, any insect that looks like it might fly and sting as well as any flying insect that has not yet been identified as NOT being a bee.)

sanderson wrote:Allyn,  Your fear of flying insects is not unusual.  But, there are certain flying things that will really help out a veggie garden as far as pollinating.  I was scared to death of black bumble bees until I joined the Forum in 2013.  Until then, I would run in the house and my husband would have to go out and spray it.  Well, now I know they are basically benign and help pollinate my squash and even cantaloupe and cucumbers.  Now I just go do something else until it moves on.

AtlantaMarie wrote:Allyn, given the fact that a flying bug "might" be dangerous, it's not surprising about having a phobia about them. 

My DH is allergic to bee stings, so he swats at whatever is flying around him... doesn't matter what it is!
The insects that protect themselves by sting are always maligned. If folks did not wage war on them through swatting poisons, etc, stings would be far more rare. Perpetuating the notion that all bees sting is a disservice to these powerfully beneficial insects. There is absolutely no drive for insects to harm or kill humans.... unless they are threatened.

Courage is taking action by overcoming fear...and sometimes this action is being still. Try just sitting still in the garden and watching the bees, wasps...and spiders...just try. I bet they will pay you no attention at all.

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Post  Allyn 3/20/2015, 1:05 pm

I know they are beneficial insects and good for the garden. Knowing that doesn't stop the instant flood of panic in me. I don't know where it comes from. I can't recall any traumatic event from my childhood. I don't swat, I just duck and run. I don't send my husband to spray it unless it's acting like it wants to make a nest under the porch roof or in the laundry room (laundry room is separate from the house). Having moved to the South, I now live in an area where Africanized bees have been found and that terrifies me. Logically, I agree with everything that's been said, but on a primitive level, I just can't make myself not react.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/20/2015, 2:22 pm

Camp is absolutely correct...!  Usually they're reacting to our reacting to their presence.

I'd probly start with a spider (and I HATE spiders) that's sitting still.  Then you can move to other things as you become acclimated.
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