Thick-headed Fly

I’ve seen these flying about my flowers before but never really paid any attention to them.  Today, however, they were all over the flowers of my Dill.  And, since my new project is to identify the bugs in my garden, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.

Thank goodness for Google.  I thought I found what it is in my book but the internet gave greater clarification.

This is a Thick-headed Fly.  Kind of an insulting name, don’t ya think??

The adults drink nectar.   Thus the reason they were all over the dill.

67 species are listed for North America.  They’re tiny – less than a 1/4″ long.

The larva is an internal parasite meaning, the egg hatches inside another bug and lives off the guts and stuff till it’s ready to emerge and pupate – become the adult form.

Females use pincers to hold prey while in flight, then lays 1 egg on victim.  Larva attacks internally, finally killing its food source.

Victims of thick-headed flies offer little or no resistance to being caught.  They are held captive during the short flight while the egg is being attached.

Victims: wasps, bumblebees, and grasshoppers.

Now, I’d keep the wasps and the bumblebees but they can certainly have all the grasshoppers they want!!  Those grasshoppers eat my plants.

Check your flowers and you may see these little guys, especially if you have dill!

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One Response to “Thick-headed Fly”

  1. caravinson Says:

    I had these guys all over my dill when I grew some in Connecticut years ago.

    Fun photos!

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