Arizona Naturalists >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Insects, Spiders, Centipedes and Scorpions >>> Flies, Gnats, and Mosquitoes

Sonoran Desert Diptera

One pair of wings (other flying insect groups have two pairs). In place of second pair of wings are a pair of halteres - a knobbed end rod - used to maintain balanced flight. Mouth parts are modified for lapping or piercing sucking. Astounding number of species. Just a pathetic few in guide so far ...

Eye Gnat
 © by Mike Plagens

Very small shiny black or yellow flies that get into eyes of hikers and range cattle. Common esp. late spring. More info ...

Long-Legged Fly
Condylostylus sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Iridescent, small, green-blue flies that seem to dance upon sunny leaf surfaces. Common near moist environments. More info ...

House Fly
Musca domestica
photo © by Mike Plagens

Abundant fly around farm operations and human habitations. Sponging-lapping mouthparts. More info ...

Leaf Miner Fly
 © by Mike Plagens

Minute black or black and yellowish flies that mine inside leaves or else in developing seeds. More info ...

Fruit Fly
Euaresta sp.
 © by Y Anderson

Small flies with patterned wings often seen flitting about on flower heads going to seed. More info ...

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Robber Fly
 © by Mike Plagens

Active flies that alight on prominent points and sally out to catch smaller insects on the wing. Legs with stout tarsal claws at feet. Many kinds in the Sonoran Desert. More info ...

Robber Fly
Saropogon mohawki
 © by Mike Plagens

Active flies that alight on prominent points and sally out to catch smaller insects on the wing. Legs with stout tarsal claws at feet. More info ...

Green Bottle Fly
Lucilia sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Iridescent green flies common around flowers, feces, and carrion. Attracted also to meat as say at a BBQ. Larvae in decomposing flesh. More info ...

Cactus Fly
Copestylum mexicanum
 © by Mike Plagens

Large, shiny black fly with two-toned wings. Visits flowers for nectar in late summer and fall. Larva stage develops inside rotting cactus. More info ...

Bot Fly
Cuterebra sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Very large, mostly black flies most often seen at hilltops. Harmless as adults. Larvae parasitic within mammals. More info ...

Sygnal Fly
Senopterina sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Small flies with marked wings that are fluttered as the insect runs about. More info ...

Soldier Fly
Hermetia illucens
 © by Mike Plagens

Large, jet-black fly, rather clumsy in flight. Attracted to moist, decomposing plant material. More info ...

Tachinid Fly
 © by Mike Plagens

Ordinary-looking flies that visit flowers or alight on vegetation. Parasitic as larvae in caterpillars and other insects. More info ...

Small Tachinid
Siphona sp.
a flower-loving tachinidae © by Mike Plagens

A diminutive tachinid that was on the wing in December. Extended proboscis for taking flower nectar. More info ...

Paravilla cinerea
 © by Mike Plagens

Bee-flies are active during sunny weather; they hover and land on the soil or else pay visit to flowers. Wings often with markings. Many, many kinds in Sonoran Desert, More info ...

Villa sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Hovers close to ground and alights often in sunny spot, sometimes on moist soil. More info ...

Paired Beeflies
 © by Mike Plagens

A long slender proboscis for sipping nectar and hairy body. Sometimes two are joined. More info ...

Small Bee-Fly
Geron sp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Very small hovering fly partial to flowers. Long mouthparts for taking nectar. More info ...

Crane Fly
Tipula spp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Large slow-flying insects look like a giant mosquito with very long legs. Common to abundant in spring in the desert. More info ...

Stilt-legged Fly
 © by Laurie Nessel

Small, delicate flies found in display on vegetation near damp spots. Look in Sonoran Desert riparian habitats. More info ...

Gall Midge
Asphondylia spp.
 © by Mike Plagens

Minute, mosquito-like flies as adults. As larvae they live inside plant tissues and cause formation of various gall structures. Many kinds on a wide variety of plants. More info ...

Dark-winged Fungus Gnat
photo © by Mike Plagens

Minute gnats that frequent areas of damp soil including potted plants, compost and margins of riparian streams. More info ...

Yellow Fever Mosquito
Aedes aegypti
 © by Mike Plagens

Small, aggressive, blood sucker that is often abundant in Sonoran Desert cities. Bites ankles especially. Black with white spots. More info ...

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012