The Drone Fly was introduced to North America from Eurasia prior to 1874 and is now found throughout most of the world. The adults are European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) mimics, and quite sweet looking, while the larvae, called rat-tailed maggots, are a bit harder on the eyes. But as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that long tail-like tube serves an important purpose. Larvae live in stagnant water filled with decaying vegetation (small ponds, ditches, drains) or in wet dung, and that “tail” reaches the surface so they are able to breathe. Larvae feed on rotting organic material, while the adults prefer nectar.

Size: 13 – 15 mm

Photo by: Kelly Dix on 9/7/22 near Condon, MT