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Picture-winged Fly (Delphinia picta)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Picture-winged Fly

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Image Credit: Rachel H. taken in Luther, OK
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Image Credit: Rachel H. taken in Luther, OK
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Image Credit: Erik B. from West Columbia, SC
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Image Credit: Moriah S. from CO
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Image Credit: JB from Altanta, GA
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Image Credit: Amanda S.
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The family of Picture-winged Flies is filled with bold, flashy and striking members and Delphinia picta is no exception.

Updated: 06/08/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Delphinia picta is one of central and eastern North America's most common Picture-winged Flies. Its wings are mostly black, but they bear solid white stripes and spots on them. The body, by contrast, is a lighter brown or flesh color. Its eyes are a pinky-rose color.

Females deposit hundreds of fertilized eggs using an ovipositor, a syringe-like tail. The eggs are placed inside very rotten fruit, vegetable or flower matter. Within a week, eggs hatch and the larvae (maggots) feed on what remains of the plant matter surrounding them. Though most larvae pupate and emerge as adults in the same year, some late-season larvae can overwinter in deeper ground and complete their devleopment the subsequent spring.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Ulidiidae
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          Genus: Delphinia
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            Species: picta

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Delphinia picta
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 9mm (0.19" to 0.35")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; pink; yellow; brown
Descriptors: flying; striped; flesh-tone; spotted; bands; fast

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 9mm (0.4in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 7mm
Hi: 9mm

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 Picture-winged 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 Picture-winged Fly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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