25 Different Types of Flies in Idaho

Different Types of Flies in Idaho
Photo by Egor Kamelev

Have you ever wondered what types of flies are buzzing around Idaho? You might be surprised to learn that there are over 500 different types of flies in Idaho!

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of flies that call Idaho home and how many of each species can be found. 

Whether you’re an entomologist or just curious, this is a must-read for anyone interested in Idaho flies.

Read on to learn more about the types of flies in Idaho, the Gem State!

1. American Bluet Damselfly

The American Bluet Damselfly (Enallagma spp.) is a species of small, colorful damselflies that starts our list of the types of flies in Idaho. With bright blue and yellow markings, these flies have become a favorite among many fly fishers in the area. These tiny aquatic predators are commonly seen near streams, ponds, and other still waters throughout the state. 

They make a stunning addition to the local wildlife and provide an important ecological service by helping to keep insect populations under control. The American Bluet Damselfly has a unique life cycle that begins with the larvae emerging from the egg and entering the water. Here, they feed on small aquatic organisms and insects for up to three years before finally transforming into adults. 

During this time, their bodies become longer and their wings expand, allowing them to fly short distances and forage for food. Once fully grown, adult American Bluets live for only two to three weeks before mating and dying. While short-lived, these insects are vital in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems in Idaho.

2. American Hover Fly

The American Hover Fly is a species of fly found throughout the state of Idaho. The adult fly is small, typically reaching a length of only 2-3 mm in size. The wings are usually striped with orange and black markings. 

They are the second on our list of the different types of flies in Idaho. They can be found hovering around flower beds or other areas with abundant nectar-producing plants. The larvae feed on plant material and other small insects, while the adults consume nectar and pollen. 

American Hover Flies can be seen all year round, but they are particularly abundant during the summer months when warmer temperatures and flowers bloom. Their presence provides natural pest control as they feed on many of the same pests that can damage crops and gardens. Additionally, these flies are important pollinators, helping to fertilize plants and spread their seeds.

3. American Salmonfly

The American Salmonfly is one of the most impressive types of flies in Idaho. These large, powerful insects are recognizable by their bright orange and yellow bodies and white wings. The Salmonfly typically inhabits fast-flowing rivers and streams in the western United States, including Idaho. 

In the summer, the Salmonfly can be seen in large numbers along the edges of these waterways. They feed on small aquatic organisms and are significant food sources for trout and other fish. These powerful insects also make impressive fishing lures. 

Anglers often use realistic replicas of Salmonflies to catch large trout and other fish. Since they are so attractive to fish, anglers need to take care when releasing the flies after catching them. This ensures that the Salmonflies will continue to provide a valuable food source for fish in Idaho’s rivers and streams.

4. Bee Fly 

Bee Flies are a family of small to large flies in the western United States and Canada, including Idaho. These flies have short wings, one of the features that makes them easily recognizable. 

While these flies can be seen at various times throughout the year, they are more common in the spring and summer months. Bee Flies are usually seen near flowers and other nectar sources, where they feed on nectar and pollen. 

They are often mistaken for bees because they hover around flowers and plants. They are also types of flies in Idaho and do not sting like bees. However, they are considered beneficial insects as they help pollinate plants.

5. Bee-Like Tachinid Fly 

The bee-like Tachinid Fly (Hystricia abrupta) is one of the many types of flies in Idaho that can be found. This species is widely distributed across North America and is most abundant in western states such as Idaho. 

It is a relatively large fly, usually between 12 and 14 mm in length, with a body and wings covered in distinctive golden or tan-colored markings. This type of fly is a parasitoid which means it lays its eggs on hosts such as caterpillars, beetles, moths, and other insects. The larvae then feed on the host while it is still alive. 

Moreso, the adults are often seen in gardens, meadows, and other open areas where they feed on nectar and pollen. They are an important part of the ecological cycle, helping control insect populations and ensure environmental balance.

6. Black Blow Fly 

Talk about the many types of flies in Idaho; the Black Blow Fly is not excluded. This fly is found across North America and has a distinctive black body with gray bands on the wings. It is most commonly seen during the spring and summer months as it feeds on carrion and decaying materials. 

These flies are often seen around livestock and domestic animals such as cows, horses, sheep, and pigs. In addition to feeding on dead material, these flies are important pollinators, especially in agricultural settings. The Black Blow Fly is considered a pest in many parts of Idaho, as it can easily contaminate food sources. 

Also, they are known to spread diseases such as cholera and dysentery, which can make people sick. For this reason, it is essential to control their populations, such as eliminating potential breeding sites and reducing areas of standing water where they can breed. Taking these precautions can reduce the number of Black Blow Flies in Idaho and protect people from the diseases they can spread.

7. Woodrat Bot Fly 

The Woodrat Bot Fly is a fly native to the western United States, including Idaho. It is part of the Cuterebridae family of flies and is closely related to the rabbit bot fly. This fly species feed on rodents’ blood, such as woodrats, and has been observed in both urban and rural areas of Idaho. 

The adult fly is black with a yellow stripe running down its back and can be seen flying around during the summer months. The larvae of this fly species develop inside the host, causing skin swelling and irritation. Though these flies are not known to spread any diseases, they can be a nuisance to humans and animals alike.

8. Whitefly

Whiteflies are small insects that are common types of flies in Idaho. They have white wings and yellow bodies and feed on plant sap. Whiteflies can cause damage to crops and ornamental plants, as they are known to reduce crop yields and cause leaf yellowing. 

Whiteflies can also spread diseases such as tomato spotted wilt virus and Silverleaf whitefly disease. It is important to control whiteflies using integrated pest management practices, such as introducing beneficial insects into the garden. 

Cultural practices such as removing infested plants, using insecticides, or using horticultural oils and soaps are also necessary. Additionally, planting resistant varieties of plants can help reduce the impact of whiteflies.

9. Winter Stonefly 

Winter stoneflies are small to medium-sized insects found in colder climates and in Idaho. Winter stoneflies typically emerge during the winter months and can be seen fluttering around in search of food and shelter. They are one of the most important insects in the aquatic food web, providing food for many species of fish, birds, and other predators. 

Further, they can be easily identified by their dark brown or black bodies, with yellowish-orange legs and wings. Winter stoneflies are essential food sources for native fish species in Idaho’s lakes and rivers. These insects lay eggs in the water, and when they hatch, the larvae are an important part of the aquatic food chain. 

They are types of flies in Idaho that are also a source of protein for fish and other aquatic animals. Winter stoneflies play an important role in the health of aquatic ecosystems. So it is important to protect them from pollution, overfishing, and other human activities.

10. Vinegar Fly

The Vinegar Fly, also known as Drosophila repleta, is a type of fly that is commonly found in Idaho. The adult Vinegar Fly can reach up to 1/4 inch in length and is light brown or yellowish-gray in color. They have large eyes, and their wings are held back at an angle. 

This fly species feed on decaying fruit and other organic matter, making it one of the most widespread of all the types of flies in Idaho. In the summer months, they can be found near gardens and orchards, where they help break down fruit and other organic matter. Although they don’t bite humans, they can be a nuisance when they enter homes and buildings.

11. Transverse Flower 

The Transverse Flower Fly is on our list of the various types of flies in Idaho. This species is known for its bright yellow or orange coloring, and its metallic green eyes. The larvae are aquatic and feed on organic material in the water. 

In Idaho, they can be found near streams and rivers and moist habitats such as wetlands and mudflats. Transverse Flower Flies are also known to feed on flowers, which is why they are sometimes called Flower Flies. They can be seen during the year’s warmer months, particularly in June, July and August.

The Transverse Flower Fly is an important part of the ecosystem in Idaho. These flies are food sources for fish, birds and other predators. They are also essential pollinators, helping to spread pollen from plant to plant and ensuring the continued growth of local plants. For this reason, it’s essential to protect these species and their habitats, so that they can continue to contribute to the health of the environment.

12. Tufted Globetail Hover Fly 

The Tufted Globetail Hover Fly is a common species of fly found throughout the state of Idaho. This species of fly has a unique appearance, with its large eyes and thin body. It is black with yellow stripes and two white tufts at the end of its abdomen. 

The Tufted Globetail Hover Fly can be found in gardens and meadows, flying low to the ground. They feed on flowers and other small insects, helping to pollinate the plants around them. This species of fly is relatively easy to identify due to its distinctive look and behavior.

However, it is crucial to be aware of these types of flies in Idaho, especially when outside, as they can sometimes bite if disturbed or provoked. However, they are usually harmless and will not cause any harm to humans.

13. Tachinid Fly

The Tachinid Fly: Adejeania (Adejeania vexatrix) is one of the types of flies in Idaho. This species of fly is a small, yellowish-brown fly that grows up to 1/4th of an inch in length. It is a parasite of Lepidoptera larvae and feeds on plant juices and other invertebrates. 

The Tachinid Fly has two large eyes, two antennae, and four legs. It is active during the day and can be seen hovering around flowers and vegetation. The Tachinid Fly is commonly found in meadows, pastures, woodlands, and other open areas. In Idaho, the fly can be seen from late May through September.

The Tachinid Fly plays an important role in controlling Lepidoptera larvae populations and helps maintain the balance of nature. The larvae of the fly feed on the larvae of various species of butterflies, moths, and skippers. This helps reduce their population and thus reduces their impact on crops and vegetation. 

The adult Tachinid Fly can also be used as a beneficial insect in controlling crop pests such as aphids and thrips. The Tachinid Fly is a beneficial insect that can help improve the environment by controlling pest populations.

14. Small Minnow Mayfly 

The Small Minnow Mayfly is a small, colorful insect found in Idaho. Its wings are transparent and range in color from white to brown, green, or blue. The small minnow mayfly, which is also one of the types of flies in Idaho, is generally between 1/4 and 1/2 inch long. 

This type of fly feeds on algae, decomposing vegetation, and other aquatic organisms. They are commonly found in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams throughout Idaho. While they may look unassuming, these tiny insects provide essential food sources for fish and other animals.

15. Snakefly 

Snakeflies are members of the order Raphidioptera, and the species Agulla adnixa is found in Idaho. These flies are easily recognizable because of their long slender bodies and large eyes. They often appear to be hovering in the air as they flutter around in search of prey. 

Snakeflies feed on a variety of small insects and spiders, making them a beneficial insect in the garden. They may also act as pollinators due to their ability to visit a variety of flowers. They aren’t left out of this list of the different types of flies in Idaho. 

In addition to their predatory abilities, snakeflies are known to lay their eggs near larval stages of other insects, providing additional food for their offspring. Snakeflies are most active during the spring and summer months, when they can be seen in gardens and meadows throughout Idaho.

16. Tufted Globetail Hover Fly 

The Tufted Globetail Hover Fly is a species of fly that can be found in Idaho. This insect is a member of the hoverfly family, which is known for their hovering flight pattern. The Tufted Globetail Hover Fly has a bright yellow head and thorax, while its abdomen is black with white stripes and a tuft of yellow hairs on its tip. 

It is usually found near bodies of water and wet meadows, where it feeds on nectar and pollen. These are types of flies in Idaho that are essential pollinators for many plants and flowers. The Tufted Globetail Hover Fly can be a beneficial insect to have around your property because they help with pollination. 

If you spot one of these hoverflies, you should leave it alone as it does not pose any threat to humans or animals. However, if you see them in large numbers, it may be an indication of an infestation and you should contact a pest control professional for help.

17. Tephritid Fruit Fly 

The Tephritid Fruit Fly (Trupanea spp) is a type of fly that is found throughout Idaho. They are usually found near fruiting trees, shrubs, and plants, as they feed on the sugars in the fruit. These flies have an extensive range throughout the United States and can be found in various areas of Idaho. 

They are uniquely small, brownish, and have distinctive yellow eyes. They are considered beneficial insects as they help pollinate flowers and spread seeds. They also help to control populations of other species of insects by acting as natural predators. Tephritid Fruit Flies can be identified by their long legs and small size.

18. Scorpionfly 

Scorpionflies are exciting types of flies in Idaho that belong to the family Panorpidae. They are usually identified by their long slender body, short wings and distinctive tail-like structure. Scorpionflies can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the state, but they are most abundant in moist wooded areas. 

These flies are predatory and feed on other insects, such as spiders, beetles, and caterpillars. They also feed on plant nectar, honeydew, and decaying matter. They are considered beneficial because they help control insect pests in their habitats.

19. Robber Fly 

The robber fly, L. astur (Laphria astur), is a type of fly found in Idaho that is known for its predatory behavior. This species of fly has a unique appearance: a long and slender body and large, round eyes. It is typically gray or brown in color and has two sets of wings, one set of which is longer than the other. 

Robber flies are known to feed on other insects, such as bees and wasps, and can often be found hovering near flowers or in wooded areas. They are generally considered beneficial to the environment, as they help to keep populations of other insects in check. These flies may not be as well known as some other types of insects, but they are an essential part of Idaho’s ecosystem. 

Robber flies are a fascinating species on this list of the different types of flies in Idaho. Understanding their behavior and habits can help us to appreciate the diversity of life in Idaho better. With more research and study into these creatures, we can learn more about their role in our environment.

20. Repetitive Tachinid Fly 

The Repetitive Tachinid fly, also known as Peleteria iterans, is one of the many types of flies in Idaho. This fly is characterized by its small size and black body, with a yellow stripe on the middle of its back. It typically feeds on the larvae of other insects, such as mosquitoes and moths. 

Moving on, the larvae of these flies can be found in a variety of habitats, including wetlands and woodlands. The flies are often seen hovering around flowers in search of nectar and pollen. 

These flies play an essential role in the ecology of Idaho by helping to control insect populations. They are also beneficial to humans because they help to reduce mosquito and other biting insect populations, as well as providing pollination services.

21. Mydas Fly 

We aren’t done with the various types of flies in Idaho, and Mydas fly, a species of fly belonging to the family Mydidae, is up next. This small, dark-colored fly can be found in many areas of Idaho. It is often seen in wooded and grassy areas and near water sources such as ponds and streams. 

The body is generally black, with yellowish bands around the abdomen and transparent wings. This fly feeds on small insects such as aphids, larvae, and flies. 

In addition to that, they are beneficial to gardens, as they help to control pest populations. Though they are rarely seen, Mydas fly can play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ecological balance in Idaho.

22. Marsh Fly 

Marsh Flies are very common types of flies in Idaho. They are small and black, and can be seen hovering around marshes and other wetland areas. The wingspan of these flies ranges from 3-4 millimeters. 

Marsh Flies feed on algae, decaying vegetation, and small invertebrates like worms, snails, and insects. These flies play an essential role in the ecosystem by breaking down decomposing material and providing food for other organisms.

Marsh Flies are known for their distinctive swarming behavior. During mating season, thousands of flies will swarm together in huge clouds over water sources. This behavior is often accompanied by loud buzzing sounds which can be heard for miles. Although these flies can be a nuisance, they are essential to Idaho’s natural environment and should not be harmed.

23. March Brown Mayfly

The March Brown Mayfly is a type of fly native to Idaho. It belongs to the insect order Ephemeroptera, also known as mayflies. The March Brown Mayfly is most commonly found in Idaho’s rivers, streams, and lakes. It is a medium-sized fly, usually ranging from half an inch to one inch in length. 

The species has a dark brown body and two long wings with veins that are lighter in color than the rest of the body. The March Brown Mayfly, on this list of the types of flies in Idaho, is an important food source for many fish there. It hatches during the spring months and can be seen flying around in large numbers. 

These mayflies provide a great source of nutrition for fish, as they are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Additionally, they can help to control the population of algae and other aquatic plants in Idaho’s waterways.

24. Long-Legged Fly 

Long-legged Flies are small, slender flies that are most commonly found in the western United States. In Idaho, they are usually spotted during the warmer months, often resting on flowers or flying around in open fields and meadows. They have an average height of 0.5 to 1.5 cm and are identifiable by their long, spindly legs. 

Further, they have yellow and black banded bodies, and distinctive black and yellow striped wings. Long-legged Flies feed on nectar and pollen, making them a beneficial insect to many plants. They also prey on smaller insects, such as aphids and mites, helping to keep these pests in check.

25. Peacock Fly 

The Peacock Fly is a species of robber fly that can be found throughout Idaho. This species is characterized by its slender body and long legs, which are held forward in a semicircle. The wings are marked with dark and light stripes, creating a unique pattern similar to a peacock’s tail. 

These types of flies in Idaho typically prey on small insects like aphids and caterpillars. They feed on the prey’s body fluids using their specialized mouthparts. The Peacock Fly is considered beneficial due to its role in controlling pest populations.


If you’re curious about the different types of flies in Idaho, you may be surprised to learn that there is a wide variety of species. Idaho is home to a diverse array of insect life, from hoverflies to mosquitoes and everything in between.

In the article above, we explored the various types of flies in Idaho, their habitats, and the potential impact they can have on our ecosystem. In fact, we’ve made diving into the fascinating world of Idaho’s flies and discovering just how many different types there are so easy! Till later!

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