Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mydas Fly- Wasp Mimic
These large flies are mimics of Spider Wasps. Their common name is Mydas Fly (Mydas clavatus). They can reach lengths up to 1 1/2 inches and wingspans of 2 1/2 inches. With jet black bodies and wings, and an orange band on the second segment of their abdomen they are easily identified. Although they so closely resemble wasps that many people are fooled by the pretence. They are common and widespread throughout the United States and parts of Canada. They are often found in open fields, and shrubby borders near deciduous woodlands. Adults feed on nectar. Some individuals claim they feed on caterpillars, flies, bees and true bugs. With no documented proof of this, it is only theory. I have only ever seen them on flowers in my yard, or perched on the ground or other vantage points sunning themselves. Females lay their eggs in rotting stumps or logs, and the resulting larvae will feed on beetle grubs. The adults are most generally seen in the summer months and very little is known about their mating rituals. It can be intimidating to have these large insects buzzing around you, especially if you make the assumption they are wasps. These are gorgeous flies and I get excited each time I spot one, and I consider myself lucky when I can get a decent picture of one of these fast fliers.