True fruit flies

True fruit flies

5828  I found this in Hamilton Ontario on my front porch. I wouldn’t have looked twice at it, but from a distance it looked like a small scorpion. Upon closer inspection, it was a flying insect camouflaged like a scorpion, which I find strange, since there are no native scorpion species in this area. –Dan

Flies with this type of wing pattern usually belong to the family Tephritidae (true fruit flies); see http://tinyurl.com/j89kmhs for an example. I have seen it posited that this wing pattern may serve to mimic jumping spiders, common predators on these flies. Some species can be very serious orchard pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.