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Mydas: The King of Flies

My Karen Menard

With a loud buzzing and a flash of iridescent blue, this Mydas fly (Mydas clavatus) made an impressive appearance at Oak Openings Preserve recently.

Mydas flies are members of the insect family Mydidae, which includes the world’s largest flies. Boasting a robust length of over an inch long, this fly may look a little intimidating, as it is sometimes mistaken for a wasp, but it is actually harmless to humans. The larvae live in decaying wood and eat beetle grubs. However, the adult flies are fantastic pollinators, often nectaring on their favorite Oak Openings Region native, rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium).

If you are lucky enough to observe a Mydas fly, stand by and watch the sunlight reflect the blues and purples of their wings and note the bright orange band hugging their abdomen.

As pollinators, Mydas flies are in important part of the ecosystem and a treat to observe in the Metroparks.