• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

The Flies that You Actually Want to Have

 
gardener
Posts: 1959
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
746
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know I commonly think of flies as being really dirty and annoying....and some are.

However there are tons of different harmless types of flies, some that prey on smaller insects, and others that are great pollinators. These are the ones I get excited to see!

Do you have any types of flies that you get excited when you see them?
 
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- Zone 5a
59
cat trees books cooking bee writing
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm learning about hoverflies. There are so many critters that look a bit bee-like in their colouring; it's hard to tell them all apart until you look closer. Hoverflies look like bees with fly eyes and fly wings. They do a lot of pollination, because the adults eat pollen and nectar. The immature ones feed on aphids and things like that. So these are definitely good guys. :)
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1959
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
746
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I saw these guys flying around everywhere in my food forest and wondered what they were?

They are super fast and pretty tiny. I managed to get a photo of one, and in the next photo was just a flash.

They appear to be long legged flies, which from what I've read, seem to be super welcome!

Here's a description of them from Wikipedia

Dolichopodidae generally are small flies with large, prominent eyes and a metallic cast to their appearance, though there is considerable variation among the species. Most have long legs, though some do not.

Dolichopodidae are a family of flies ranging in size from minute to medium-sized (1mm to 9mm). They have characteristically long and slender legs, though their leg length is not as striking as in families such as the Tipulidae. Their posture often is stilt-like standing high on their legs, with the body almost erect. In colour most species have a green-to-blue metallic lustre, but various other species are dull yellow, brown or black.

Adults of the Dolichopodidae live largely in grassy places and shrubbery. The flies occur in a wide range of habitats, near water or in meadows, woodland edges and in gardens.

The adults are predators, feeding on small invertebrates including Collembola, aphids, and the larvae of Oligochaeta. Species of the genus Dolichopus commonly prey on the larvae of mosquitoes.

The larvae occupy a wide range of habitats. Many are predators of small invertebrates and generally live in moist environments such as soil, moist sand, or rotting organic matter. Genera such as Medetera live as predators under tree bark or in the tunnels of bark beetles.



It amazes me how the smallest creatures can sometimes have a huge beneficial impact, and help to keep nature in balance!
20200705_172334.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200705_172334.jpg]
20200705_172306.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200705_172306.jpg]
20200705_172321.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200705_172321.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
109
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Robber flies
They are good predators. I'd like to get a picture of robber fly preying next time.
robberfly.JPG
Robber fly on castor bean stalk
Robber fly on castor bean stalk
 
May Lotito
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
109
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Missouri Department of Comservation page about robber fly:

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/robber-flies

Quote from the page:

The predatory habits of robber flies, both as adults and larvae, tend to put them into the same “beneficial” category as lady beetles, lacewings, mantises, and assassin bugs, since they devour many pest insects, including insects that damage crops. One species is known to prey on Japanese beetles. Some, however, eat honey bees, as well as wasps and bumble bees.


I would like to have the one that preys on japanese beetles.

 
gardener
Posts: 707
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
296
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fire flies! Their larvae eat slugs and snails.
 
May Lotito
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
109
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Black soldier fly
bsf.JPG
Black soldier fly
Black soldier fly
 
You've gotta fight it! Don't give in! Read this tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic