March Flies in March

March Flies

These two strange bugs were crawling on a Salal branch yesterday in my yard.  I’ve never seen anything like these before.

March Fly

A closer look didn’t help me much.  It sort of looked like an ant to me (maybe a queen or a male?), but the antennae didn’t seem right.  Ant antennae are usually bent.

March Fly

The view from above didn’t help much either.  The antennae here look a lot like fly antennae though.  Could it be a fly?

March Fly

I followed one of them while it moved around.  After poking it with my camera a couple of times (by accident of course!) it started to flap its wings.

March Fly

Looks like only two wings, right?  Even better evidence for it being a fly.  But beyond that I was stumped.  It isn’t in any of my insect books.  So where do you turn for a Bug ID when nothing else works?  Yup, BugGuide!  I posted it there and got an answer within about an hour.  This is a March Fly, specifically a female Bibio xanthippes according to this Oregon State website.  Interestingly, the male looks a little different- mostly because it has larger fly-like eyes.



This is the patch of Salal that I found them in.  Explore your yard!

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