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Mydas Fly (Mydas clavatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mydas Fly

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The Mydas Fly does not turn anything to gold, but there are only a few types in North America, making it somewhat precious.

Updated: 06/07/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This family of flies comprises some of the largest flies in North America. Some of the species in the Mydidae family can get as long as 60mm (2 inches). Large black Mydas Flies are harmless despite sometimes being mistaken for wasps. Large purple-black wings shimmer in light and are often folded over each other when resting.

Female Mydas Flies lay fertilized eggs in the ground. Larvae can be found in forests near rotting and dead wood. Offspring eat other bugs and grubs that can be found in the dirt, even plump June Bug larvae. Because of the predatory diet of larvae, this type of fly is considered beneficial to have around, removing threats to plant health and produce. Eventually, Mydas fly larvae pupate in small chambers they create in the soil and emerge as flying adults.

Adults are seen virtually everywhere (parks, garden, meadows, open lots, forests, etc.). They feed on other insects and caterpillars, including flies of other species, but they may also drink nectar. They are very good fliers, though it may not seem so at first glance. They tend to look a bit clumsy in flight. They are most active in the summer months.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Mydidae
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          Genus: Mydas
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            Species: clavatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Mydas clavatus
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 38mm (0.98" to 1.49")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; orange; red
Descriptors: large; knobs; flying; large

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 25mm (1.0in) and 38mm (1.5in)
Lo: 25mm
Md: 31.5mm
Hi: 38mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mydas Fly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Mydas Fly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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