12 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

American Hoverfly
by Goshzilla – Dann is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

First on our list of different types of flies in Arizona that are beneficial to people and entirely safe is 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. Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly
by Anita363 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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.

3. Black-tailed Bee Fly

Black tailed Bee Fly
by S. Rae from Scotland, UK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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 emerges 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.

4. Brown Mantidfly

Brown Mantidfly
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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.

5. Common Drone Fly

Common Drone Fly
by The Manic Macrographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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

6. Common Green Bottle Fly

Common Green Bottle Fly
by jkirkhart35 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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.

7. Common Oblique Syrphid Fly

Common Oblique Syrphid Fly
by Jesse Christopherson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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.

8. Common Sawfly

Common Sawfly
by jwinfred is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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.

9. Crane Fly

Crane Fly
by Mustang Joe is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Despite their enormous size, they are not actual mosquitoes. The adults of crane fly (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 craneflies 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.

10. Flower Fly

Flower Fly
by bob in swamp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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.

11. Firefly

by art farmer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

12. Flesh Fly

Flesh Fly
by Lisa Zins is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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.


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.

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