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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/flight pattern in a group of small flys


hi there, noticed a group of about 20 small flies in the garden under an apple tree around 2pm, overcast day 07/17/16. They flew in a 3-4 inch triangular-ish pattern. They are smaller than house flies but are gray/black. I don't know where else to find such information, so thankyou in advance for your reply. :)
p.s. I also saw one of those little "peacock" flies today for the first time!

Hi, Marianne:

Without seeing them myself, I cannot provide you with much help.  I know some male solitary bees behave in the same manner, and I wonder if that might be what you saw rather than flies.

In any event, most flies are difficult to identify even to family-level.

Some things have to remain a mystery, at least for awhile.  Happy for you that you saw a peacock fly.  They are very amusing in behavior and have a subtle beauty. :-)



Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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