20 Different Types of Flies in Arizona

Different Types of Flies in Arizona
Photo by Luke Besley

One of the most prevalent and unpleasant pests is the fly. An estimated 18,000 of the more than 120,000 different types of flies in Arizona.

The fly family includes a wide variety of insects, such as mosquitoes, gnats, blow flies; house flies, fruit flies, drain flies, stable flies, horse flies, deer flies, and meat flies, among others, that get their names from the place or food they enjoy.

Flying insects cause a nuisance and severely threaten people and animals because they are active disease carriers.

Here in our blog, we will help with the list of types of flies in Arizona. Let’s get started!

1. American Hoverfly

First on our list of different types of flies in Arizona that are beneficial to people and entirely safe are Hover Flies(Eupeoded Spp).

Because of its colors and striped abdomen, this genus is regarded as a bee imitation. Even some species’ resting wings appear to have two pairs (like most bees and wasps).

They create this effect by giving their one pair of wings a darker front border. Adult hoverflies consume flower nectar while eating by visiting numerous blossoms daily.

Inadvertently, they pollinate gardens by carrying a lot of pollen from flower to flower on their bodies. 

They also devour aphids and other plant pests when they are in their larval stage, as if the advantages of having them pollinate plants weren’t enough to urge them to flourish.

Hover different types of flies in Arizona are beneficial to have around since their food reduces aphid infestations that injure plants and reduce harvests.

2. American Lady Butterfly

American Lady Butterfly(Vanessa virginiensis) is also on our list of different types of flies in Arizona. It connects to the West Coast Lady, the Red Admiral, and the Painted Lady. 

The tiny hairs or bristles on the front legs, which resemble those on a toothbrush, are pretty short. They can appear to have only four legs due to the length of their front legs.

One can mistakenly believe they are gazing at two separate butterflies due to the stark differences in this species’ upper and below colors.

The forewings and the hindwings have an orange, black, and white dorsal (top side). The center of the orange forewing has a tiny white dot. 

A row of black dots can be seen close to the lower margin of the hindwings. The center of the two most significant of these is blue.

These are the most noticeable when the wings are spread wide and flat. The butterfly’s ventral side, or underside, is remarkably patterned when its wings are closed. 

With a flash of vivid pink on the forewings, this side of the wings is a mosaic of gray, white, and brown. Each of the two sizable eyespots on the hindwings is helpful for identification.

Fields, canyons, and meadows are the sunny, open habitats this butterfly loves. They are common in the northern and southern U.S. and Canada during the summer.

In the winter, they travel to Mexico and the southern United States for the milder climate.

3. Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly

The goddess of love, joy, and beauty in Greek mythology is Aphrodite. A beautiful summery butterfly that only has one brood a year is the Aphrodite Fritillary(Speyeria Aphrodite). 

Its identification can be a little difficult because it has many near relatives that closely resemble it.

Males and females differ in size, and different parts of the continent have varied colors, further complicating matters. 

The Aphrodite Fritillary’s different types of flies in Arizona yellow-green eyes provide a quick means to rule out practically all relatives.

Although they both have yellow-green eyes and live in Aphrodite’s range, the Great Spangled Fritillary and Atlantis Fritillary are significantly larger and smaller than the medium-sized Aphrodite.

Aphrodite Fritillary males of different types of flies in Arizona typically have a two-week head start on females and are smaller.

During the hotter periods of the day, they actively look for females. Females can be seen strolling on the ground close to violets after mating, laying fertilized eggs at a rate of roughly one per plant. 

In the late summer, the caterpillar that emerges from these eggs consumes the leaves of numerous varieties of violets.

From head to tail, parts of its black body are covered in lengthy rows of bristles. These bristles could be yellow or black.

When violets bloom in the spring, it re-emerges after spending the winter hiding in a shelter of leaves. They will pupate for two to three weeks in early summer.

4. Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) is next on our list of types of flies in Arizona. It looks exactly like a wasp, yet it’s not dangerous. 

Although it is more noticeable than house flies due to its large size and mighty wings, it does belong to that family.

The eyes are large and rounded, and the long, black antennae do not bend or have an “elbow” joint. 

The creature’s abdomen tapers to the point that it barely begins to resemble a stinger, and its legs are black and yellow.

Two medium-sized dots that resemble window panes can be seen if its wings are extended apart. They may be yellow, white, or green, but they almost always appear clear or transparent.

5. Black-tailed Bee Fly

The hairy, humming, and hovering Black-tailed Bee Fly(Bombylius major)  imitates bumble bees.

Predators who do not want to cope with a stinger are often scared off by this species’ yellow body and legs. 

However, as it is a fly, it lacks a stinger. The large tongue or proboscis rapidly reveals the animal’s real nature. The long, slender legs of bee flies are similarly devoid of pollen baskets. 

Additionally, they lack the fuzzy legs that honeybees and bumblebees generally have on their back legs.

Adults of different types of flies in Arizona enjoy lilac and plum blooms and drink flower nectar. The diet of larvae is more pernicious. 

A female black-tailed bee fly deposits her fertilized eggs in a specific kind of solitary bee’s underground nest.

Bee with a black tail Fly larvae emerge and feed on the resident bees’ larvae, turning them into parasites. 

After finishing the competition, they continue consuming the food their mother left behind.

Then, in that nest, they will develop into pupae until they finally emerge as adults in the summer.

The summertime and sunny days are when this species is most active. They can be seen resting on plants or buzzing around flowers in parks, backyards, and open fields. 

Like a hummingbird, they can hover over the blooms they eat from. Males frequently linger near flowers as they watch for females to pass by. Then, to mate with the female, the males run after her.

6. Brown Mantidfly

Brown Mantidflies (Climaciella brunnea) may initially be mistaken for wasps. The abdomen and hairless body appear to be prominent signs, with bands alternating between yellow, black, and brown. Its wings’ vein structure even resembles that of the wasp family. 

The Brown Mantidfly has a little more physiology, though, and a closer look reveals an odd combination of traits that are rarely found in one insect.

They feature forelegs similar to the Praying Mantis and a long, broad prothorax (sometimes known as “shoulders”). 

It has a solitary claw that it uses to snare tiny insects. At the tip of her abdomen, the female has an ovipositor, a tube-like syringe used to lay eggs.

7. Cabbage White Butterfly

The upper corners of the Cabbage White’s white(Pieris rapae) different types of flies in Arizona, delicate wings are charcoal gray when extended flat, making them visible.

Each male forewing has a single black mark in the center, whereas a female has two spots. 

If the wings are elevated, the underside of the forewings, which might be yellow or light green, is visible.

The Cabbage White, a frequent guest of vegetable patches, brings playfulness to a garden landscape. The unfavorable result could be a caterpillar issue a few weeks later.

The green larva of the Cabbage White eats mustard-related plants, including nasturtiums and cabbage. It has five yellow lines spanning the length of it, and it is hairy.

The leaves of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower can be chewed through in a matter of days due to the caterpillar’s insatiable appetite and the fact that it frequently has siblings nearby.

They are considered garden pests because of their destructive food requirements, and population management is necessary to preserve harvests. 

When adults are spotted in the area, row coverings can be used to prevent eggs from being laid on host plants.

This method can lessen the need for chemical pesticides on food and ease garden work.

From early spring until late autumn, the abounding Cabbage White Butterfly can be observed flying about.

They are suited to residing in cities. They can be found in gardens, parks, meadows, and fields.

8. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

In the southern United States and Mexico, where they can raise three or four broods annually, cloudless sulfurs (Phoebis sennae) types of flies in Arizona are common.

Every year, they travel north, where the cold prevents them from having more than one or two broods before they head back south. 

Both in name and appearance, this species resembles the Clouded Sulphur. Both are a similar shade of yellow, with just a few differences in spot location and forewing shape.

If they are around long enough to be studied, these tiny characteristics help separate them from one another. 

Various locations with flowers or mud puddles are good places to look for Cloudless Sulphurs.

In addition to tropical forests and beaches, they roam through backyards, building sites, woodland margins, parks, and fields.

9. Common Buckeye Butterfly

The Common Buckeye belongs to the large family of Brush-footed Butterflies(Junonia coenia). This indicates that it has ties to the Viceroy, Malachite, Monarch, and Fritillary subfamilies. 

Since the front legs are so little and nearly impossible to detect, many people initially count only 4 legs.

The front pair is likewise coated in short bristles, or hairs, like a hair brush, in addition to its minuscule length. 

Common Buckeyes different types of flies in Arizona have one little and one sizeable black-and-blue eyespot on each wing and are primarily brown.

These eye dots have orange and black borders. Each forewing has two distinct orange bands close to the head, and a substantial ivory band encircles the bigger eyespot.

10. Common Drone Fly

The drone fly(Common drone fly), a widespread fly on the continent, is an excellent bee impersonator.

The stingless male bees are known as drones, distinguished from ordinary bees by having large eyes and an unusual banding pattern on their abdomen. 

In those aspects, the Drone Fly is similar to the Bee Drone. Although adults can frequently be seen consuming nectar from flowers, larvae prefer aquatic habitats, especially foul-smelling, stagnant water.

While the rest of the larva remains below the surface of the water, the maggot grows a breathing tube from its back and uses it to breathe. 

They belong to the hoverfly species known as Rat-tailed Maggots. It can consume decaying stuff in the water thanks to this tube.

Adults may be found close to enduring long-standing puddles, ditches, or other wet areas that could act as a nursery

11. Common Green Bottle Fly

In addition to drinking nectar, adult common green bottle(Lucilia sericata)  different types of flies in Arizona pollinate plants like kale, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and onions. Adults have a hue of shiny green. 

Some have glossy bodies with hues of yellow. They all have big red eyes and scant black hair covering their bodies.

Due to its feeding and habitat, this species’ life cycle timing has been thoroughly examined and is now known.

Standard Green Bottle different types of flies in Arizona larvae consume the remains of deceased animals.

The presence of maggots at a crime scene can help determine when the bodies will start to decompose because we know their size and life stage. 

One of the first different types of flies in Arizona to land on a corpse is an adult member of this species.

They go through different life stages in days rather than weeks or years due to their short lifespans, which provides forensic teams with important information. 

When surgical methods are unsuccessful or unfeasible, maggots have also been employed medicinally to remove rotting tissue from people.

The maggots methodically eat the dead tissue while leaving the healthy tissue alone when placed in an infected, necrotic area, cleansing the wound as they do so.

But sheep suffer because of this same species. Sheep strike is a health hazard caused by larvae that infiltrate sheep’s healthy skin and, if untreated, result in the death of the sheep.

12. Common Oblique Syrphid Fly

The Common Oblique Syrphid Fly (Allograpta obliqua) can be distinguished from other species thanks to the oblique or angled yellow dashes at the tip.

Short antennae and large, rounded, crimson eyes are quick clues that this insect is not a bee. 

Most people can be fooled by the yellow and black banding and hovering flight ability, but a quick examination helps eliminate the worry of being stung.

This fly’s long, flat abdomen occasionally bends downward, just like the abdomens of other bee mimics in the Fly family. 

The abdomen of female tapers to a point, but a man’s abdomen is more squared off at the tip.

The stamps’ distinguishing features are the two rows of oblique yellow dashes on the outside margins and the two vertical yellow dashes in between.

13. Common Ringlet Butterfly

A Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia) can look slightly different depending on the region it is in.

The tops of the Northeast individuals’ wings are golden yellow, whereas those from the West Coast are white. 

When the wings are folded up, most have a single black eyespot on the top of the forewing’s underside. Certain Northwestern ones are missing that eyespot. 

The forewings typically display an orange hue when the wings are elevated, while the hairy hindwings are taupe, tan, or brown.

Some even come in black and yellow. Regardless of the dominant color, they all follow the same general pattern.

This butterfly may be found in all three of North America’s nations. While adults frequently pause at flowers, caterpillars frequently eat grasses.

Depending on the geography, two broods may be produced in warm states, compared to just one in northern states and provinces. Start looking for flying adults in March and keep looking until October.

14. Common Sawfly

Common sawfly (Various Spp) is next on our list of different types of flies in Arizona. With a saw-like mechanism, female sawflies may more effectively hide their eggs from the weather and potential predators inside twigs and stems. 

Although sawflies appear to fly, they are wasps. Thankfully, this species of wasp are stingless. Depending on the species, they could be brown, black, black, and yellow or black and red.

The Sawfly’s larvae resemble caterpillars very much. Butterfly and moth larvae frequently exhibit the same body forms, hues, and patterns as sawfly larvae.

By counting the number of prolegs, you can tell them apart (the back legs). Caterpillars have fewer than six sets, whereas sawflies have more than six.

Sawflies, different types of flies in Arizona, are only 25 mm (1 inch) long. While a caterpillar can extend as far as the adult hand’s palm. 

It helps identify a sawfly larva, especially if it destroys trees and plants. Although healthy plants may endure sawfly damage, they can suffer serious injury from many sawfly larvae.

15. Crane Flies

Despite their enormous size, they are not actual mosquitoes. The adults of crane flies(Various Spp) different types of flies in Arizona are not known to feed on anything, they don’t have a long proboscis (snout), and they don’t bite. 

The frail, long legs of crane flies are prone to breaking, which may cause some people to mistake them for huge Daddy-Long Legs (which are not spiders, by the way). However, you can easily see that crane flies have wings up close.

Adults frequently hang from plants, gutters, and soffits or sit on walls when drawn to light. Some species prefer more aquatic settings, while others are entirely terrestrial.

Depending on the species, females may have a lengthy ovipositor that resembles a stinger with needle tips used to lay eggs in damp soil or water. 

These eggs could survive the winter and hatch in the first few weeks of April. After the larvae hatch, immature crane flies feed on rotting materials, leaf mold, and fungus.

16. Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Every country in North America has the common butterfly known as the Variegated Fritillary(Euptoieta Claudia) different types of flies in Arizona.

While it shares a pattern with many other Fritillaries, this species has a luminous spot on its shoulder, next to the head, surrounded by a black border. 

Typically, the orange-brown color towards the body is darker than it is by the wing edges. Across the center of the wings is a paler stripe.

Black single dots are arranged in a row close to the double-lined border, each in its own “cell.” 

A similar pale mark by the head can be seen on the underside of the wings. Compared to the topside, the design is less organized as tan, orange, and white.

This species’ caterpillar is typically observed when it is brilliant red or orange and covered in long black spikes

The black spikes might have blue spots at their bases. By the head, two very long black spines resemble antennae. The length of the caterpillar’s body is lined with pale yellow or white dashes. 

The pupal case is white with black mottling and features that resemble spikes in an orange-white color.

This caterpillar consumes many plants, including sedum, passion vine, flax, pansies, and violets. Every year, several generations are created.

17. Flower Fly

The flower fly (Toxomerus marginatus) is next on our list of different types of flies in Arizona. It’s always a win to see this Flower Fly in the garden. 

In addition to being safe for people, it aids in ridding fruit and vegetable plants of pests that dehydrate and injure them.

With similar colors and banding on the abdomen, they are adept mimics of wasps, but a glance at their eyes and antennae reveals what they are actually made of. 

In this species, the male and female eyes are directly next to each other, but the female eyes are separated (holoptic).

Even though they are considerably smaller than bees, they can hover. This is something that flower flies frequently do over plants covered in blooms.

The females are active from spring to fall and lay fertilized eggs on plants. These molt into larvae skilled in devouring other pests harmful to a plant’s health, such as aphids, tiny caterpillars, and other soft-bodied insects. 

The larvae resemble green worms with a thin dark line running along the ‘back’ and a yellowish stripe down the center. They blend very well with the lush vegetation they inhabit.

18. Firefly

There are numerous fireflies(Photuris Spp) species in the genus Photuris. Arizona’s different types of flies are perfectly safe for humans and frequently captured for closer examination. 

Chemicals in the insect’s yellow abdomen enable it to phosphoresce. While a few species flash orange or red, the majority of species glow in colors green or blue.

Each species has a unique blinking pattern that can distinguish it from other nearby species. 

One species, the Pennsylvania Firefly, imitates another genus’ time to entice males so they can consume them.

Following mating, eggs are laid in tree tops, out of people’s sight. For this reason, nothing is known about the firefly’s early stages of development.

Children would benefit much from learning about this insect. The gentle nature and piqued curiosity of fireflies are a result of their bioluminescence.

Although they move slowly, it is challenging to catch them in flight. Fireflies must ascend to the highest point after being caught to resume flying.

This frequently means that one will amble to the tip of a raised finger before launching. Finding a kinder insect on a warm summer night would be difficult.

19. Flesh Fly

Understanding the life cycle of particular genera of flesh flies can be helpful to knowledge.

A forensic expert may be helped by the presence of adults and larvae at a crime scene to estimate how long a body has been there. 

On carcasses, the genus Sarcophaga (Flesh Fly) deposits live maggots rather than eggs, and their size and life stage shifts rapidly.

When calculating the time of death, it may be helpful to keep track of both the moment the body was discovered and the life stage of the current flies.

Sarcophaga adults have transparent wings and red eyes. Their thorax (‘shoulder area’) contains alternating metallic-looking black and gray patterns. The brownish-red tip and spiky hairs on the black abdomen’s end. 

The entire spring and summer, they remain active. Open spaces like fields, parks, meadows, and parking lots are where you can find them.

In addition, woodlands and backyards may contain them. This genus covers the whole of North America and has close to 80 species. 

Adult flesh different types of flies in Arizona may also visit dung heaps and consume animal fluids.

Some of the first insects to a dead animal are flesh flies. Their larvae (maggots) consume deceased insects and the rotting, decomposing meat of vertebrates.

20. Field Crescent Butterfly

Lastly, This brown-black butterfly, widespread in the western states and provinces, features orange stripes that curve over its wings.

Black specks are incorporated into the orange markings down the underside of the hindwings. 

A white fringe frames all wings. Instead of being orange like in other varieties of Crescent butterflies(Phycoides pulchella), the antennae clubs are brown or black.

Compared to the top, the colors on the underside of the wings are significantly brighter. 

They are golden with possible white and brown marbling. A row of minute dark spots rims the edges of the hindwings.

At sea level, Field Crescents different types of flies in Arizona can be seen flying for most of the year and annually produce several broods.

Although activity is restricted to just the summer in such places due to the colder air at higher elevations, it is nevertheless expected. 


Different types of flies in Arizona share some characteristics, even though specifics vary depending on the kind.

Each has an identical head, thorax, and abdomen and a fundamental oval body shape. They have wings, six legs, and antennae.

Additionally,  these different types of flies in Arizona frequently have compound eyes, feeding-specific mouthparts, and sticky feet that allow them to adhere to smooth surfaces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like