This silvery gray Parasitic Fly is found in an unusually small range for flies: just Florida and Georgia.
Parasitic Flies are parasites to other insects. Female flies lay fertilized eggs on the backs of other insects, or on leaves near where insects travel where they may be picked up or ingested. Once on a host, a hatched larvae digs into the insect and feeds on its insides. It is a gruesome way to grow, but the result of this lifestyle reduces the population size of some insects that are considered pests. Many garden-destroying caterpillars are victims to Parasitic Flies, and their early demise can mean a good harvest. The hosts of this particular species are types of beetles.
The benefits of Parasitic Flies seem to outweigh the morbid way larvae feed, and many species are actually used as biological controls for pest species. Prosenoides flavipes adults drink flower nectar and have a long proboscis and large red eyes. Two rows of spiky hairs between the eyes almost crisscross and form a mohawk. The silver body has short flecks of black and the legs are a reddish-brown. Sparse black hairs stick out all over the body, but especially by the rear end. This fly is harmless to people. Look for this small fly in garden and meadows as it moves between flowers and leaves.
Scientific Name: Prosenoides flavipes
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 8mm (0.27in to 0.31in)
Colors: gray; black; red
Descriptors: long nose; snout; tongue; red eyes; silver fly; hairs; flying; nectar
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.