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Drone Fly, Rat-tailed Maggot (Eristalis tenax)

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Order: Diptera (DIP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Syrphidae
Genus: Eristalis
Species: tenax

Profile:

2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Regional...

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Deer, Arkansas
Nokomis, Florida
Elkhart, Indiana
Benton, Kentucky
Albertville, Minnesota
, Newfoundland and Labrador

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Drone Fly, Rat-tailed Maggot (Eristalis tenax) by kennedyh

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By Magpye

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By wallaby1

Thumbnail #5 of Drone Fly, Rat-tailed Maggot (Eristalis tenax) by wallaby1

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By wallaby1

Thumbnail #7 of Drone Fly, Rat-tailed Maggot (Eristalis tenax) by wallaby1

There are a total of 22 photos.
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Member Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive melody On Sep 8, 2006, melody from Benton, KY
(Zone 7a) wrote:

This fly actually looks like a bee. It feeds on nectar and is common throughout most of North America.

Positive wallaby1 On Jun 23, 2007, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a) wrote:

This fly is harmless, it resembles a drone worker bee hence the name. It is quite large, has no narrow waist, the eyes are typical of a fly and it has no sting!

This can easily be confused with other Eristalis, in particular E. pertinax but also E. arbustorum. With careful observation and research I have found the main differences.

The tibiae of the hind legs on E. tenax are dark, with little or no yellow on the legs. E. pertinax has bicoloured tibiae on the hind legs.

E. tenax has a more distinct, broader dark stripe down the centre of the face than E. pertinax, while E. arbustorum has no stripe or very little.

E. tenax has a near cylindrical abdomen, the female is variable and sometimes has little or no orange pattern. E. pertinax has a more triangular, tapering abdomen.

E. arbustorum is smaller than the other two, I have had all three and the size difference is very noticeable. E. arbustorum also has distinct white bands across the abdomen.

The larvae of E. tenax are laid in organically polluted water, using the tail as a breathing tube. When they are ready to pupate they will often crawl into a shed or building.

Reference sites used are as follows

http://www-biol.paisley.ac.uk/bioref/Animalia_inverts/Erista...

http://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/insects/eristalis.htm

http://home.hccnet.nl/mp.van.veen/KEYS/Eristalis/eristkey.ht...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_fly

http://www.bioimages.org.uk/html/P3/P39452.php


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