Have you ever wondered what types of flies can be found in Massachusetts? From the large and obvious house fly to the more obscure species, Massachusetts is home to various flies.
This blog post will explore the different types of flies in Massachusetts and provide information about each species.
We’ll also cover the most common house flies and some of the rare species in the state. This article will enlighten you about everything you need to know about these flies.
Read on to learn more about the different types of flies in Massachusetts.
1. American Lady Butterfly
The American Lady Butterfly is a type of butterfly found in Massachusetts. It has a wingspan of around two inches, and its body is reddish-orange with black spots and white markings.
It is a nectar feeder and can often be seen flying around flower beds or gardens in search of nectar.
The American Lady Butterfly is an important pollinator and can help contribute to the local ecosystem’s health. It is first on this list of the types of flies in Massachusetts.
2. American Hover Fly
The American hover fly, also known as Syrphidae, is a type of fly that is commonly found in Massachusetts.
These flies benefit the environment since they feed on nectar and pollinate plants. They typically have yellow or white bodies and can grow up to 0.5 inches long.
They are often mistaken for bees or wasps because of their similar appearance, but they can be distinguished by their flight patterns which are more erratic than those of bees or wasps.
The American Hover Fly is an important part of the ecosystem in Massachusetts and provides vital pollination services to many plants.
And this is second on our list of the various types of flies in Massachusetts.
3. American Bluet Damselfly
The American Bluet Damselfly is third on our list of the different types of flies in Massachusetts. This is a species of dragonfly found in the eastern United States, including Massachusetts.
These tiny insects are usually less than two inches long and have bright blue or green colored bodies.
They can often be seen skimming across the surface of ponds and other freshwater sources.
American Bluet Damselflies feed on small flying insects, making them important predators in their environment.
They are also excellent pollinators, and their presence is vital to maintaining healthy populations of aquatic plants.
4. African Fig Fly
The African Fig Fly (Zaprionus indianus) is found in Massachusetts and the eastern United States. It is a small, dark-colored fly that is often mistaken for a fruit fly due to its size and shape.
The African Fig Fly is usually found in gardens and yards, feeding on fruits and vegetables.
They are types of flies in Massachusetts that also feed on flower nectar and plant sap. When their populations increase, these flies can become a nuisance in the summer months.
To reduce the population of African Fig Flies, it is recommended to remove overripe fruit from gardens and yards and to use traps or insecticides if needed.
5. American Rubyspot Damselfly
The American Rubyspot Damselfly (Hetaerina Americana) is an insect commonly found throughout Massachusetts.
This species is a medium-sized damselfly that can be distinguished from other similar species by its bright red spots on the lower wings and its long, narrow tail with white patches.
American Rubyspot Damselflies can be found in various habitats, including streams, ponds, lakes, marshes, and wetlands.
They feed on small aquatic insects, such as mosquitoes and midges, by perching on plants near the water and quickly darting out to capture their prey.
Additionally, they are an important part of the food web as they are predators of other aquatic insects and a food source for fish and birds.
6. Band-Winged Crane Fly
The Band-winged Crane Fly is a large, delicate fly native to North America, particularly Massachusetts.
These flies are easily identifiable due to their long wings marked with a distinct dark band. The wings also have a small amount of fur and are quite long in proportion to their bodies.
As they prefer damp areas, they can often be found near streams, wetlands, and other areas with standing water.
They feed on small insects and other invertebrates, and the larvae of these flies live in the soil.
Despite their size, they are relatively harmless and are important pollinators in their native habitats.
7. Bee Fly
Bee Flies are one of the most interesting flies found in Massachusetts. These fascinating creatures get their name from hovering like bees around flowers.
They are usually dark in color, with a black head, white thorax, and light-colored legs.
Bee Flies, one of the various types of flies in Massachusetts, are attracted to areas with short grass or bare ground.
The larvae of these flies feed on the larvae of beetles and other insects found in soil or rotting vegetation.
Bee Flies are an important part of the Massachusetts ecosystem, as they help to maintain a healthy balance between various species of insects.
8. Bee-Like Robber Fly
The Bee-like Robber Fly, commonly known as Laphria spp., is commonly found in Massachusetts.
It belongs to the Asilidae family and can be identified by its large size, long wings, and greyish-black color. Its head has two compound eyes covered with a layer of light-colored hair.
These flies are predatory and feed mainly on other insects like moths and bees. They can be seen hovering in the air or resting on foliage during summer, often near water sources.
Although it’s considered a beneficial insects, they can also become annoying pests in residential areas due to their persistent presence.
9. Big Dipper Firefly
The Big Dipper Firefly is a species of beetle that can be found in Massachusetts. It is commonly seen in late summer and fall when it glows with a yellow light at night.
Of the various types of flies in Massachusetts, this species is closely related to the common lightning bug.
These fireflies are typically smaller than other species, ranging from 1/4-3/8 inches in length. They have short wings and live in damp or wet meadows or woods.
They are active at dusk, often forming large aggregations that look like a twinkling starry sky.
The Big Dipper Firefly is an important part of the natural environment, as they help with pollination and are a food source for other animals.
10. Black Blow Fly
The Black Blow Fly is a species of fly that is commonly found in the state of Massachusetts. It has a black body with short, thick antennae and a broad head.
The larvae of this fly are generally found in decaying organic material and garbage cans, while adults can be found near breeding areas such as livestock, compost piles, and trash dumps.
While they are not known to bite or sting, they can still annoy due to their presence in large numbers.
These flies are considered pests in some areas and are controlled with insecticides. Above all, they are among the numerous types of flies in Massachusetts.
11. Black Firefly
The black firefly is a small and dark species of fly that is native to Massachusetts.
It is a member of the Lampyridae family and can be seen in the late summer months. These flies are commonly seen in meadows, gardens, and other grassy areas.
This fly species is known for its short and erratic flight, which they use to locate mates. The black firefly can also be identified by its black body and yellow abdomen.
Although they are harmless to humans, these little bugs can be a nuisance as they buzz around during the summertime.
12. Black Onion Fly
The Black Onion Fly is a small fly found in Massachusetts that typically feeds on decaying plant matter, such as compost and mulch.
These flies are usually seen during the summer when the temperature is warmer, and they can be found in dark and damp places such as basements and garages.
These types of flies in Massachusetts can be identified by their small size and black or dark gray coloration.
They have long antennae and wings and feed mainly on decomposing plant material. The Black Onion Fly can cause minor human annoyance but is not known to transmit diseases.
It is important to keep an eye out for these flies, as they can become a nuisance if left unchecked.
13. Black Horse Fly
The Black Horse Fly is a common species of fly in the Tabanidae family found throughout Massachusetts. It is easily identified by its large black body and yellow-orange colored eyes.
These flies are blood-feeders found near livestock, people, and other mammals during summer. The adult Black Horse Fly, one of the types of flies in Massachusetts, can bite humans.
This is why it’s important to keep an eye out for these pests in areas with high concentrations of animals or people.
They are also known to spread diseases, such as tularemia, so it’s important to take precautions when dealing with this fly species.
14. Black Soldier Fly
The Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) is found in Massachusetts and other parts of North America.
This fly is typically found near compost piles, decaying organic matter, and animal carcasses. They range in size from 7–12 mm in length, usually black or grayish.
Black Soldier Fly larvae are scavengers that feed on decaying organic matter, playing an important role in the decomposition of the material.
Adult flies are usually not a problem, as they do not bite or feed on living tissue. We are just getting started with this list of the various types of flies in Massachusetts.
15. Black-Horned Gem Fly
The Black-horned Gem Fly is a species of small fly found in Massachusetts. This species is typically found in woodlands, meadows, and gardens.
The adult Black-horned Gem Fly has an average wingspan of 7mm and is easily identified by its distinctively large black-tipped horns.
The larvae of this species are considered beneficial predators of various pest insects, including aphids and caterpillars.
They feed on the plant matter or the insects they consume, depending on the stage of development.
With its unique markings, this fly is one of the more interesting types of flies in Massachusetts.
16. Black-Tailed Bee Fly
The Black-tailed Bee Fly is found in the eastern United States and parts of Canada.
The adult flies are black with a white band across their abdomens and white stripes on their wings and legs. They use long antennae and long proboscis to feed on nectar.
They can be found near woodlands and meadows in Massachusetts, often hovering over flowers while they feed.
They are also commonly found in gardens and parks, where they can pollinate plants and benefit the environment.
17. Blue Blow Fly
The Blue Blow Fly (Calliphora vincina) is a fly commonly found in Massachusetts. These flies have a blue-black body and a grayish-white band across the thorax.
They are types of flies in Massachusetts that are larger than the common housefly and can reach lengths of up to 8 mm.
The Blue Blow Fly is an active flier and often congregates in areas with ample food and shelter.
They feed on carrion and decaying plant material, which makes them important for decomposition processes. In addition, their larvae are also parasitoids, feeding on other insect species.
The Blue Blow Fly is an important species in Massachusetts and indicates a healthy environment.
18. Brown Mantidfly
Still, on the list of the different types of flies in Massachusetts, the Brown Mantidfly is a fly native to the state.
These flies are approximately 8 to 12 millimeters in length and have an overall dark brown coloration. They have long legs and antennae, and their wings have distinct brown stripes.
The Brown Mantidfly lives in wet areas, especially near rivers and streams, as well as moist meadows and wetlands.
They feed primarily on small insects like aphids but are also known to consume other invertebrates. These flies typically emerge in the summer months.
19. Burrower Mayfly
The Burrower Mayfly (Hexagenia spp.) is a fly found throughout Massachusetts. These aquatic insects inhabit slow-moving and still waters such as streams, rivers, and ponds.
They are active during the warmer months, typically from May to October.
The adults are usually seen flying near the surface of the water and can be identified by their long, brown wings and yellowish-brown bodies.
The larvae of this species burrow into the sediment at the bottom of the water and feed on algae and decaying organic matter.
They are an important part of the food chain for fish and other aquatic organisms in Massachusetts.
20. Cabbage White Butterfly
The Cabbage White Butterfly is a common species in Massachusetts. It is a small white butterfly with two black spots on the tips of its forewings. The underside of its wings is pale yellow with darker veining.
The adults feed on flower nectar and lay their eggs on cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous plants. The caterpillars feed on these same plants, creating large areas of crop damage.
This pest can be managed by using insecticides or keeping weeds and other host plants away from vegetable gardens.
Caddisflies are a group of aquatic insects found in rivers and streams across Massachusetts.
They have long, slender bodies with two pairs of wings, ranging in color from light tan to dark brown.
These insects are predatory, consuming other small aquatic creatures such as mosquito larvae, small fish, and shrimp.
Caddisfly larvae also build protective cases out of silk and pieces of debris for protection against predators.
They are important members of the aquatic food web and can be used as indicators of water quality, as certain species prefer clean water with low pollution levels.
This is not left from the list of the types of flies in Massachusetts.
The coffinfly, also known as the Little Brown or Ephmera guttulata, is an interesting fly in Massachusetts.
This insect can be identified by its yellowish-brown body, long antennae, and black eyes. It is also characterized by its four-winged pattern of dark and light spots.
This fly is typically found near bodies of water, such as ponds and rivers. Coffinflies feed on aquatic plants and algae and are important in keeping their habitats clean.
As one of the types of flies in Massachusetts, they can also help pollinate flowers, especially those near their habitats.
Although they are not considered major pests, they can be a nuisance if they enter your home or property.
23. Common Buckeye Butterfly
The Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia) is a butterfly native to the eastern and central United States, including Massachusetts.
The large eyespots can identify it on its forewings, which are brown or gray with small black spots.
The underside of its wings is marked with orange and dark brown stripes. The Common Buckeye typically feeds on nectar from various flowers and shrubs.
They often perch on flowers and rocks during the day or can be found at night under light sources such as street lamps.
24. Common Drone Fly
The Common Drone Fly is on this list of the types of flies in Massachusetts. It is a large, slender fly with a yellow-brown body and light brown wings.
It has long antennae, a pointed abdomen, and can reach a length of about 1⁄4 of an inch.
These flies are commonly found near wetlands or muddy areas and are known for their hovering behavior.
The larvae feed on decaying organic matter, making them useful for decomposition. While they are typically considered harmless, it is important to note that the drone fly may bite if provoked.
25. Common Sawfly
Common Sawflies are a type of fly found in Massachusetts. These flies belong to the family Tenthredinidae and are similar in size to wasps.
They typically have yellow and black coloring, but some species may also have other colors.
These particular types of flies in Massachusetts have long, narrow bodies and transparent wings. They feed on foliage, flower nectar, and sap and can be seen in gardens, fields, woodlands, and other natural areas.
Common sawfly larvae can cause significant damage to crops and ornamentals, so it’s important to identify them before they become too numerous.
Luckily, sawflies don’t sting humans and can be safely removed or controlled with insecticides.
26. Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly
The Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly is native to eastern North America and can be found in Massachusetts.
The wings of this butterfly are usually a deep orange color, with brown and white spots on the edges. This butterfly prefers to live in damp woods, open meadows, and marshlands.
Asides from being one of the types of flies in Massachusetts, it feeds on the nectar of flowers like wild cherries and thistles.
This butterfly species is also known for its long migration routes, which can take it as far north as Canada and south as Florida.
27. Dark Fishfly
The dark fishfly is a type of fly commonly found in Massachusetts. It is an aquatic insect that lives on or near bodies of water, such as streams and ponds.
This fly prefers still waters and can often be seen resting on the surface.
The dark fishfly is about 6 to 10 mm long, and its body is black, with white bands and orange markings.
The female will lay eggs on vegetation near the water’s edge, and the larvae will feed on detritus.
This fly species is important to the ecosystem, as it helps break down decaying matter, making it available for other organisms.
28. Crane Flies
Crane flies, also known as daddy-long-legs, are a family of insects commonly found throughout Massachusetts.
These small flies are easily identifiable by their slender bodies and long, spindly legs. Of the types of flies in Massachusetts, they are generally harmless and do not bite or sting.
Crane flies can be seen in gardens, fields, and wooded areas throughout the state. They feed on a variety of plants, including grasses and weeds.
They are also known to feed on the nectar of flowers. Their presence benefits the environment as they help aerate the soil and provide food for other animals.
29. Dainty Sulphur Butterfly
The Dainty Sulphur butterfly is native to the eastern United States and can be found in Massachusetts during the summer months.
It is a small, orange and white butterfly with delicate wings approximately an inch wide.
It usually visits flowers during the day and is most likely seen in fields, meadows, and gardens.
The Dainty Sulphur prefers to feed on flowers such as clover and asters and may also feed on other species of plants.
In Massachusetts, it can be found from May through October but is most common during July and August. It is a beautiful addition to any garden, providing beauty and pollination services.
30. Deer Fly
The Deer Fly is one of the most common types of flies in Massachusetts. They are small to medium-sized with a yellowish-brown body and black wings with distinctive yellow or orange bands.
Deer Flies are blood-sucking insects that feed on mammals and birds. They are active during the day, especially when the sun is out, and they can be found hovering around their prey.
Deer Flies are known to be very persistent and aggressive, often biting multiple times before letting go.
They can be controlled by using insect repellent and avoiding areas where they tend to congregate.
The Dobsonfly is one of the fascinating creatures you can find in Massachusetts. It is a type of insect that belongs to the group of Megaloptera, or alderflies, and is related to the fishfly.
These large and impressive insects have long, stout bodies and long wings with a wingspan of up to 8 cm.
Males also have distinctive mandibles resembling beetles, while females lack this feature.
Dobsonflies are commonly found near rivers, streams, and other bodies of water in Massachusetts and are especially active at night.
They feed on aquatic invertebrates and small fish but are not considered a pest species.
32. Dogwood Sawfly
The Dogwood Sawfly (Macremphytus tarsatus) is a sawfly found in the eastern United States and parts of Canada, including Massachusetts.
It is a large, black, wasp-like insect with yellow stripes along its body and measures between 10 to 15 millimeters in length.
Its primary diet consists of leaf tissue from Dogwood trees, but it may also feed on other deciduous tree leaves.
Dogwood Sawflies rarely cause enough damage to be considered a significant pest, but their presence can be an indicator of potential infestations of other sawfly species.
Let’s proceed with this list of the different types of flies in Massachusetts.
33. Elm Sawfly
The Elm Sawfly (Cimbex americanus) is a type of fly found in Massachusetts, typically seen around April and May.
This fly is about 2/5 inches long, with a black body and yellow stripes on its abdomen. It has two wings and can be distinguished by the white stripes on its thorax and head.
The Elm Sawfly, on this list of the types of flies in Massachusetts, is known to feed on elm tree leaves, especially those of the red elm tree species.
These flies will also feed on other tree species, including maple and birch. The Elm Sawfly is an important pollinator in Massachusetts and the eastern United States.
34. European Drone Fly
The European drone fly, also known as Eristalis arbustorum, is commonly found in Massachusetts.
This fly is a true fly belonging to the family Syrphidae, which contains some of the most commonly seen hoverflies in North America.
This species has a black thorax and legs, a yellow-striped abdomen, and a wingspan of about 8mm.
This fly can be commonly seen in gardens and around flowers, where it feeds on nectar. They are also commonly found near ponds and other moist habitats, as they have aquatic larvae.
These larvae, or maggots, are important in controlling mosquito populations by eating the larvae of these pests.
Additionally, the European drone fly can also act as an important pollinator, aiding in the pollination of flowers and helping to keep plants healthy.
Overall, the European drone fly is a beneficial insect that should be appreciated for its role in the environment! We’ve still got more types of flies in Massachusetts to discuss!
35. Eyed Brown Butterfly
The Eyed Brown Butterfly, or Lethe eurydice, is a butterfly found in Massachusetts.
It is mostly found in the south-central and eastern parts of the state during its summer flight, from late May to early September.
The butterfly has a wingspan that measures between 1.5 and 2.5 inches, with dark brown wings featuring distinct eyespots.
Adults feed on nectar from various flowering plants, while larvae feed on grasses and other plants.
They are often spotted near open fields and meadows, where they can find plenty of food and shelter.
36. Feather-Legged Fly
The Feather-legged Fly is an insect found in Massachusetts, as well as many other states in the US.
The fly is a small, black, and yellow fly with long, black legs with white bands. It can be identified by its large eyes and its yellow-tipped wings.
These flies prefer humid environments and can often be found near ponds, streams, and marshy areas.
They, one of the numerous types of flies in Massachusetts, feed on nectar from plants, benefiting their environment.
They are also known for their ability to quickly hover around people and animals, making them a nuisance to those who don’t enjoy their presence.
37. Filter Fly
Filter Flies are small flies often found in standing water and sewage facilities. They have a distinctive appearance, with a black body and yellow stripes running down their abdomen.
They are also known for quickly filtering out food particles from the surrounding environment.
While they are usually not dangerous, Filter Flies may carry diseases, which can be transmitted through their feces or contact with their larvae.
As such, they should be avoided where possible. Nonetheless, they are still types of flies in Massachusetts that cannot be sidelined.
38. Flesh Fly
Flesh flies are found throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. These flies are commonly seen in both rural and urban areas.
Flesh flies are characterized by their dull gray bodies with three distinctive stripes on the thorax.
They feed mainly on decaying animal matter but can also be found around garbage cans, compost piles, and other decaying organic material.
The larvae of flesh flies are commonly used in forensic science as they are known to be attracted to human remains.
Flesh flies may also spread diseases such as dysentery and cholera if they come into contact with contaminated food or drink.
39. Flower Fly
The flower fly, also known as the hoverfly, is a common insect in Massachusetts.
These small flies are generally yellow or black with yellow markings and have large eyes, two wings, and a long, slender body. They often hover around flowers and feed on pollen and nectar.
Flower flies benefit gardens as they help pollinate plants and reduce the populations of other harmful insects.
These flies do not bite humans or animals and are considered harmless to the environment.
40. Giant Eastern Crane Fly
Types of flies in Massachusetts? The Giant Eastern Crane Fly is one of the largest flies found in Massachusetts.
It typically grows to an average size of 1.5 to 2 inches in length, with a wingspan of 2.5 to 4 inches.
This fly species is unique in appearance due to its long, thin legs and brownish-black body with yellow stripes. It is usually found in damp or moist environments, such as gardens and lawns.
The Giant Eastern Crane Fly does not bite humans and does not spread any diseases, but it can be a nuisance pest due to its large numbers and attraction to lights at night.
41. Giant Mayfly
The Giant Mayfly is a mayfly native to Massachusetts and other parts of the United States. This species is the largest mayfly in North America, reaching up to four inches in length.
They have large yellow-brown eyes, delicate wings, and long, thin abdomens that are brown or yellowish.
The Giant Mayfly can be found near rivers, lakes, and streams, where they can be seen in large swarms at certain times of the year.
They typically emerge in late June or early July and feed on algae, aquatic vegetation, and small organisms like crustaceans and insects.
Adults usually live for only a few days, but they can provide an important food source for other animals, including birds, fish, and frogs.
42. Giant Stonefly
Giant stoneflies, also known as Pteronarcys species, are a type of fly found in Massachusetts. These large flies range from two to three inches in length and are typically brown or olive.
They are commonly found near rivers, streams, and lakes and feed on aquatic insects and other small organisms.
The larvae of Giant stoneflies are particularly important to the environment, as they help to break down organic matter in rivers and streams.
It is important to remember that Giant stoneflies can cause serious health problems if mishandled.
Their larvae contain toxins that can cause skin irritation and stomach discomfort when ingested.
43. Gold-Backed Snipe Fly
The Gold-backed Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus) is found throughout the United States, particularly in Massachusetts. It has a striking gold back, where it gets its name.
The Gold-backed Snipe Fly feeds on the juices of flowers and sap from trees, often creating large swarms that can be a nuisance to gardeners and landscapers alike.
They are types of flies in Massachusetts that are not dangerous but can sometimes carry diseases.
These flies usually appear during the summer and are relatively easy to spot, with their yellowish-brown coloration and shining golden back.
44. Gray Hairstreak Butterfly
The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly is found in Massachusetts and other parts of North America. This small butterfly is typically grayish-brown or gray with a white border along its wings.
Its wings are lined with small black spots, and its body is covered with white hair-like scales.
The Gray Hairstreak feeds on nectar from various flowers, including milkweed, dogbane, and goldenrod.
Its larvae feed on the leaves of plants like maples, oaks, and elms. It’s generally active in warm weather, usually near wooded areas or gardens.
This list of the types of flies in Massachusetts is incomplete without the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly.
45. Henry’s Elfin Butterfly
The Henry’s Elfin Butterfly is a small, delicate butterfly with an orange and gray color pattern..
It is one of the smallest butterflies in Massachusetts, with a wingspan that ranges from 7/8 to 1 1/8 inches. It is also one of the most common butterflies found in Massachusetts.
The upper wing of the butterfly is mostly orange but has some gray spots and a white crescent near the inner margin.
The underside of the wing is a mottled gray and brown, but the edges are more orange.
The Henry’s Elfin butterfly is often seen in open areas such as meadows, fields, roadsides, and power lines.
It is typically active from early April through August and is known for its short flight duration, often only lasting a few seconds.
We are almost done with our list of several types of flies in Massachusetts, so don’t stop reading now.
46. Horse Fly
Horse flies are common types of flies in Massachusetts. They are large, dark-colored insects with yellow or black abdomens and eyes that range from gray to green. Horse flies have long, slim wings and can fly at speeds up to 60 mph.
Female horseflies feed on the blood of mammals, including humans, while male horseflies feed on nectar and other plant sources.
Horse flies are especially active during summer and tend to be more prevalent near ponds and lakes.
They can be a nuisance when they bite, spreading diseases such as equine encephalomyelitis and anthrax.
47. Leaf Miner Fly
Lastly, on our list of the types of flies in Massachusetts is the Leaf miner fly, commonly found in the state.
They are small and usually yellowish-green in color, and they feed on the soft tissue of plants.
Leaf miners can cause damage to plants and crops as they lay their eggs in the leaves, which then hatch and feed on the internal leaf tissue.
To prevent an infestation, it is important to watch for signs of an infestation. These signs include small holes or tunnels in leaves or clusters of white eggs near plant surfaces.
If you spot any of these signs, you must contact a professional pest control service immediately to remove the leaf miners before they spread further.
Flies are one of the most common types of insects found in Massachusetts. From the house fly to the fruit fly, these small buzzing creatures can be found around your home or garden all year round.
But did you know that there are actually many different types of flies in Massachusetts?
We explored the various types of flies found in the Bay State, from their characteristics to their habits.
By learning about the different types of flies in Massachusetts, you can better understand the fly population in your area.
Not only that, but you can also take steps to prevent them from infesting your home.