Stiletto Fly

About the size of a house fly but unaccountably much longer in the abdomen, with long legs, and in color resembling a flesh fly (red eyes, black and white striped thorax, black and white striped abdomen), this is in fact a stiletto fly, Penniverpa festina.

You’d think something this big would have more than a stub on Wikipedia, but this is sadly another of the species where someone has come along, given it a Latin name, and then wandered off, leaving the species to its own devices, without even a common name (“stiletto fly” refers to the family, Therevidae).

General information about the Therevidae, since there’s pretty much nil on this specific species: The larvae prey on the larvae of other insects which can damage plants, so this little fly is beneficial to have in your garden. They don’t have biting mouthparts, so they’re pretty harmless to humans. Adults feed on plants and “liquid secretions of animal or vegetable origin”, which is a great way to say “yucky stuff”.

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