Love Bug

If you live in the Gulf Coast, especially Florida, you’ve heard of the “love bug” (Plecia nearctica). They are small, relatively inoffensive flies, but due to their habit of locking together during reproduction (causing the joined pair to fly very erratically and slowly right around bumper-level), during their most amorous times of year they seem to be everywhere, covering houses, trees, and cars.

The males are half the size of the females, whose bodies are largely made up of ovaries. Females lay eggs around the soil surface under partially decayed plant matter. P. nearctica has two generations a year in Florida, one in April-May and another in August-September. Florida drivers are extremely familiar with both.

There is another, similar species, P. americana — this species has more red on the thorax, and has only one breeding season, in spring, slightly earlier than P. nearctica. It also lives somewhat further northward than P. neartica.

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