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Milesia virginiensis (Diptera: Syrphidae)

Milesia virginiensis (Diptera: Syrphidae) Jay Winstead, ©2020

Milesia virginiensis (Diptera: Syrphidae)
Jay Winstead, ©2020

Southern Yellowjacket (queen), Vespula squamosa (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) Lisa Ames, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Southern Yellowjacket (queen), Vespula squamosa (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Lisa Ames, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Milesia virginiensis does not have an ESA (Entomological Society of America) approved common name. Colloquially, this fly is known as a “yellowjacket hover fly” or a “news bee”; names that reference the fly’s appearance, purposeful flight, and loud buzzing.

Milesia virginiensis is a wasp mimic. This fly resembles Southern yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa; particularly, a queen Southern yellowjacket.

Identification

Milesia virginiensis is a large fly with a yellow face, yellow/light brown antennae, yellow femora and tibiae, and wings that are cloudy and patternless.

Although this fly is large, buzzes loudly, and seems to have “aggressive” flight, it is harmless. As a matter of fact, larvae of Milesia virginiensis are beneficial predators in the landscape.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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