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Old 05-15-2020, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
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I am SO sorry I don't have a photo. Hopefully I can describe it enough by words.

Location: Northeast Florida. Large island surrounded by marsh.

There were at least five of these things hovering around the belly of a horse in a pasture. Hovering like a hummingbird does. Not a dip and dash nor forward then retreat like a bee or wasp.

Very large. At least two inches long. I can't describe the head nor thorax - both were probably dark brown or black and much much smaller compared to the abdomen. The abdomen was yellow and black striped, shaped sort of like a chubby torpedo, and as big around as a pencil. Whereas a wasp or hornet's abdomen comes to a point where the stinger is, this insect's abdomen has a more rounded "point".

These five or so insects were hovering about a foot away from the horse's belly. I didn't see them land as if to sting or bite or whatever their intent was. The horse did have a variety of other biting flies bugging him like horseflies and yellow flies. Could these big insects possibly be predators of other insects?

I have searched the 'net looking for anything like them. To no avail. They aren't hover flies which tend to dine on nectar, and they are much bigger anyway. And no, they look nothing like murder hornets.

When I go back to the farm I will try to take some pictures. Using a zoom feature because these things are intimidating looking :-)
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:50 AM
 
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Hummingbird moths.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,434 posts, read 13,104,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
Hummingbird moths.
Good suggestion, but not it. Those are pretty "creepy", too! Had a couple visit my yard last year! The mystery insects have defined yellow and black stripes, evenly spaced, on their abdomens.
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
Good suggestion, but not it. Those are pretty "creepy", too! Had a couple visit my yard last year! The mystery insects have defined yellow and black stripes, evenly spaced, on their abdomens.
Did you google the image? For some reason, I can't get the image to post on here, but there is a variety of hummingbird moths who look like hummingbird shaped bumble bees.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
Did you google the image? For some reason, I can't get the image to post on here, but there is a variety of hummingbird moths who look like hummingbird shaped bumble bees.
I did learn from the horse owner that these big insects are dining on little flies and gnats that are biting the horse, so they are a good thing to have around. She doesn't know the name of them, but will ask another horse owner friend. Believe you me I will be back with their name and a photo!
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:14 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Hoverfly? ..... Particularly the large variety. The small ones can be very small, but the larger ones can be 2 CM long and hairy.
They would actually be enjoying the shade of the horses while dining on smaller insects and flowers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverfly
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Hoverfly? ..... Particularly the large variety. The small ones can be very small, but the larger ones can be 2 CM long and hairy.
They would actually be enjoying the shade of the horses while dining on smaller insects and flowers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverfly
That's what I thought at first, but these are about 5cm. I wish I could see their heads and wings more closely. They do scatter if I get too close (having found the courage an hour so ago to look again ... not an opportunity to photograph unfortunately).
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Mars City
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I'd go to Bugguide.com and do an advanced search (using state and county, and/or state and month). The search results images would likely show such an insect.

I took a stab at it using Brevard County in April. The location / region will make a big difference though.
https://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgse...epresentative=

Duval County, all-year
https://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgse...epresentative=

Last edited by Thoreau424; 05-15-2020 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:57 PM
 
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My first thought was Bot Flies as they do hover under and around horses.

But they don’t eat bugs.

They shoot eggs out of their tail shaft to land on the horse’s hair and stick there until the horse tries to lick them off. They loosen with the warm saliva, are then ingested by the horse and that is how horses get bot eggs in their stomachs. They can be a serious issue if the horse is not on a good de-worming schedule.

Here’s a bot fly picture.

horse bot fly - Gasterophilus intestinalis (DeGeer)
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,434 posts, read 13,104,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
I'd go to Bugguide.com and do an advanced search (using state and county, and/or state and month). The search results images would likely show such an insect.

I took a stab at it using Brevard County in April. The location / region will make a big difference though.
https://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgse...epresentative=

Duval County, all-year
https://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgse...epresentative=
That is a great website! Thank you!

Because I've never seen them before, I don't know if they're here year round. Perhaps seasonal similar to yellow flies.
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