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Frightening insect - ID Please!



 
 
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  #1  
Old 20-08-2004, 01:09 PM
Lynda Thornton
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Default Frightening insect - ID Please!

Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?

Thanks!
--
Lynda Thornton
Ads
  #2  
Old 20-08-2004, 02:36 PM
Bioboffin
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"Lynda Thornton" wrote in message
...
Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?

Thanks!
--
Lynda Thornton


Sounds like an Ichneumon fly.
Could it be this?

http://www.offwell.free-online.co.uk...egg_laying.jpg

or (a written description)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfact...les/3033.shtml

maybe one of the top two on this page:

http://www.david.element.ukgateway.n...ptera7misc.htm

Take care,

John.


  #3  
Old 20-08-2004, 02:37 PM
John
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Default

In article ,
"Bioboffin" wrote:

"Lynda Thornton" wrote in message
...
We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. ... ... ...


Sounds like an Ichneumon fly.


What about a Birch sawfly (think that's the one I saw near us once (in
Northumberland). can't find any good pics though -- two here

http://www.south-saxons.freeserve.co...s/image_1.html
and
http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/e...nsects_birch_s
awfly.html

but to be honest neither of those looks like the thing I saw, which
seemed like a 3" long, loudly droning, wasp (but turned out to be
harmless when I found it in the Insects book (which I haven't got with
me here)

John
  #4  
Old 20-08-2004, 03:59 PM
Phil L
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Default

Lynda Thornton wrote:
:: Hi
::
:: We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
:: moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
:: insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross
:: between a fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown
:: stripes. They have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a
:: pointed end like a stinger, but their heads look like flies. They
:: don't seem to buzz either, they must be well over an inch long, in
:: fact probably 1.5 minimum and they are large and chunky and very
:: intimidating! I've seen a couple dead on the pavements in town
:: too - I've never seen these before and haven't been able to find
:: them on the web - has anybody here seen them and know what they
:: are?

Honey bees? - honey bees don't look like bumblebees, here are two pictures:

bumblebee:
http://www.colby.edu/MES/gifs/Bumblebee.jpg

honeybee:
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/200...oney%20bee.jpg

both can sting but are not as agrssive as wasps IME.


  #5  
Old 20-08-2004, 04:09 PM
BAC
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Default


"Lynda Thornton" wrote in message
...
Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?


There are lots of species of drone flies, bee flies, wasp flies and hover
flies, even the bulb fly, which could match the description but not the
size. 1.5 inches is about 40 mm isn't it? Even the giant horse fly wouldn't
approach that in size, and you'd certainly hear it in flight. How about the
female giant horntail, urocerus gigas, which can reach 30 to 50 mm and has a
long ovipositor spike looking like a giant sting? If it's her, she's
harmless, unless she mistakes you for a pine tree and tries to drill a hole
in you to lay her eggs :-)

If you do a google search for images of urocerus gigas, you might see
something familiar.


  #6  
Old 20-08-2004, 04:18 PM
Adrian
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Default

On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:09:30 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:

Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?

Thanks!


How about a Bee-fly (Bombylius major)? Like
http://www.essexfieldclub.org.uk/dark-edgedbeefly.htm

Adrian.
  #7  
Old 20-08-2004, 04:21 PM
Kay
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Default

In article , Lynda Thornton
writes
Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?

Bee-fly? That's a serious suggestion - it is a real insect, but I can't
remember its scientific name. The 'stinger' is an ovipositor and quite
harmless. I saw one for the first time about 10 years ago - it was very
alarming

--
Kay
"Do not insult the crocodile until you have crossed the river"

  #8  
Old 20-08-2004, 04:44 PM
John
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Default

In article ,
"BAC" wrote:

How about the female giant horntail,...


That's the one! That's the one I was trying to remember in my earlier
post -- not a Birch sawfly at all -- it was one of these BIG mothers [as
my sons like to say].

http://www2002.stoke.gov.uk/museums/...es/creepy_craw
lies/other/pages/gwwasp.htm

john
  #9  
Old 20-08-2004, 06:58 PM
Michael Savage
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Default


"BAC" wrote in message
...

"Lynda Thornton" wrote in message
...
Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?


There are lots of species of drone flies, bee flies, wasp flies and hover
flies, even the bulb fly, which could match the description but not the
size. 1.5 inches is about 40 mm isn't it? Even the giant horse fly

wouldn't
approach that in size, and you'd certainly hear it in flight. How about

the
female giant horntail, urocerus gigas, which can reach 30 to 50 mm and has

a
long ovipositor spike looking like a giant sting? If it's her, she's
harmless, unless she mistakes you for a pine tree and tries to drill a

hole
in you to lay her eggs :-)

If you do a google search for images of urocerus gigas, you might see
something familiar.


I found a horntail in the greenhouse the week before last - never seen one
before but recognised it from pre-adolescent days spent looking at insect
books when I should have been getting a life - and the next day got a call
from the nieces about the huge insect they'd seen around their pine trees.
They even described it 'wiggling its bum' on the tree - laying eggs. Is this
just an exceptional year for them - like those ladybird years?

Michael S


  #10  
Old 20-08-2004, 07:44 PM
hs
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Posts: n/a
Default

Lynda Thornton wrote in message ...
Hi

We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify. They look almost like a cross between a
fly and a bee and are mainly dark brown with paler brown stripes. They
have the triangular fly-wing shape but with a pointed end like a
stinger, but their heads look like flies. They don't seem to buzz
either, they must be well over an inch long, in fact probably 1.5
minimum and they are large and chunky and very intimidating! I've seen
a couple dead on the pavements in town too - I've never seen these
before and haven't been able to find them on the web - has anybody here
seen them and know what they are?

Thanks!


Your description sounded like a hoverfly, until you mentioned the size
- the only insect I know of that size is a hornet. Check out:

http://www.gardensafari.net/index.htm
  #11  
Old 20-08-2004, 10:23 PM
Sally Thompson
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:09:30 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:


We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify.


snip
Can't help with the query - but welcome to Shropshire! You won't
regret the move. grovelSorry for OT reply /grovel

--
Sally in Shropshire, UK
bed and breakfast near Ludlow: http://www.stonybrook-ludlow.co.uk
Reply To address is spam trap
  #12  
Old 22-08-2004, 09:29 AM
Lynda Thornton
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Default

In article , Sally Thompson
writes
On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:09:30 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:


We have just moved to near the Welsh border in Shropshire - and on
moving day and since then we have seen some very scary large flying
insects which I can't identify.


snip
Can't help with the query - but welcome to Shropshire! You won't
regret the move. grovelSorry for OT reply /grovel


Hi

Thanks for the welcome and we love it here already!

Nobody so far has identified this creature - I can say it's not any of
the following that I've seen befo beefly, hornet, ichneumon (I've
seen various ichneumons) and it doesn't have an ovipositor visible -
it's mainly dark brown in colour and has a pointed body like a wasp or
bee but no sting or anything on view. It has no yellow on it. It isn't
a hoverfly like any I've seen personally or on the web and in my view
it's too big. I can only guess that it's some kind of fly but I've
never seen one so huge, and it's dark brown with paler bands striped
across which has the look of a bee of some kind, but I've never seen one
that looks like this. Perhaps it's some strange european visitor or a
weird mutation!

I'm happy to see any more suggestions but it looks like unless I get
some kind of photo I'm stumped.

Lynda

  #13  
Old 22-08-2004, 06:13 PM
Chris Hogg
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On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 08:29:02 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:



Nobody so far has identified this creature - I can say it's not any of
the following that I've seen befo beefly, hornet, ichneumon (I've
seen various ichneumons) and it doesn't have an ovipositor visible -
it's mainly dark brown in colour and has a pointed body like a wasp or
bee but no sting or anything on view. It has no yellow on it. It isn't
a hoverfly like any I've seen personally or on the web and in my view
it's too big. I can only guess that it's some kind of fly but I've
never seen one so huge, and it's dark brown with paler bands striped
across which has the look of a bee of some kind, but I've never seen one
that looks like this. Perhaps it's some strange european visitor or a
weird mutation!

I'm happy to see any more suggestions but it looks like unless I get
some kind of photo I'm stumped.


An alarmingly large fly is the warble fly, Hypoderma bovis (is this
what you call the beef fly? It's a serious parasite on cattle so may
be). Another big one is the Sheep nostril fly, Oestrus ovis. But
neither really fit your description either in colour or shape. They're
just dirty great big flies, fly-shaped, fly-coloured.


--
Chris

E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net
  #14  
Old 28-08-2004, 11:32 PM
Magwitch
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Chris Hogg muttered:

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 08:29:02 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:



Nobody so far has identified this creature - I can say it's not any of
the following that I've seen befo beefly, hornet, ichneumon (I've
seen various ichneumons) and it doesn't have an ovipositor visible -
it's mainly dark brown in colour and has a pointed body like a wasp or
bee but no sting or anything on view. It has no yellow on it. It isn't
a hoverfly like any I've seen personally or on the web and in my view
it's too big. I can only guess that it's some kind of fly but I've
never seen one so huge, and it's dark brown with paler bands striped
across which has the look of a bee of some kind, but I've never seen one
that looks like this. Perhaps it's some strange european visitor or a
weird mutation!

I'm happy to see any more suggestions but it looks like unless I get
some kind of photo I'm stumped.


An alarmingly large fly is the warble fly, Hypoderma bovis (is this
what you call the beef fly? It's a serious parasite on cattle so may
be). Another big one is the Sheep nostril fly, Oestrus ovis. But
neither really fit your description either in colour or shape. They're
just dirty great big flies, fly-shaped, fly-coloured.


Would it be a horsefly? They seem to like being around water. Watch out -
they bite!

  #15  
Old 30-08-2004, 06:16 PM
Roz Lacey
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So strange - my local paper (Dorset) has been posing the same query with a
picture of a fly which matches your description on the front page. They too
want to know - what is it. It reasembles a horsefly but is smaller. It is
very nasty and many people have been complaining of being bitten. Whatever,
keep clear of it as it's bite is almost as bad as the Blandford fly.
"Magwitch" wrote in message
...
Chris Hogg muttered:

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 08:29:02 +0000 (UTC), Lynda Thornton
wrote:



Nobody so far has identified this creature - I can say it's not any of
the following that I've seen befo beefly, hornet, ichneumon (I've
seen various ichneumons) and it doesn't have an ovipositor visible -
it's mainly dark brown in colour and has a pointed body like a wasp or
bee but no sting or anything on view. It has no yellow on it. It isn't
a hoverfly like any I've seen personally or on the web and in my view
it's too big. I can only guess that it's some kind of fly but I've
never seen one so huge, and it's dark brown with paler bands striped
across which has the look of a bee of some kind, but I've never seen one
that looks like this. Perhaps it's some strange european visitor or a
weird mutation!

I'm happy to see any more suggestions but it looks like unless I get
some kind of photo I'm stumped.


An alarmingly large fly is the warble fly, Hypoderma bovis (is this
what you call the beef fly? It's a serious parasite on cattle so may
be). Another big one is the Sheep nostril fly, Oestrus ovis. But
neither really fit your description either in colour or shape. They're
just dirty great big flies, fly-shaped, fly-coloured.


Would it be a horsefly? They seem to like being around water. Watch out -
they bite!



 




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