Fun Mydas Fly Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Oct 20, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Read these Mydas fly facts about these interesting arthropods!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

The Mydas fly belongs to the order Diptera (meaning they have two wings). They are native insects of North America and thrive in the temperate climate there.

These flies are dark tan or black with slight tinges of orange and the abdomen of these flies is long and barrel-shaped, divided into segments. The abdomen of the male is slightly more narrow than that of the female.

Mydas flies are inadequately pilose (meaning they don't have long hair or fur strands) and they have bristles on their legs. Their rear leg is comparatively longer and more grounded than both the front legs, each foot has two cushions. Its rear tibia has an apical prod or fibers, and its wings are long and thin and sometimes wide.

There are over 400 species of Mydas fly in the Mydas genus, and all of them are masters in flying. They are collectively called mydids and can be found in a wide variety of regions.

North America is home to 51 species, with most of the other species inhabiting western regions. An adult Mydas fly can be spotted in parks, gardens, knolls, and woodlands. They feed on different bugs and caterpillars, flies of different species, and nectar.

They are significant fliers but they tend to look somewhat clumsy when they fly. Mydas flies are generally most active in the late spring months.

One of the most common species of the Mydas fly found in North America is Mydas clavatus.

These flies have clubbed antennae and the Mydas clavatus is a large, at 1-1.5 in (2.5-3.8 cm), striking, smooth dark wasp-like animal with smoky wings, long antennae, and a dazzling orange checking on the top and sides of its abdomen fragment. They seem to float in the sky, and their legs drag along their abdomen in flight.

Upon landing, they mimic a stinging behavior, angling their abdomen in the center and swaying their tip more than once.

To learn more about other insects and animals, check out our guides to the monarch butterfly and the mayfly too!

Mydas Fly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mydas fly?

The Mydas fly is a large flying insect. They have a wasp-like body structure, and there are 471 recognized species of Mydas fly around the world.

What class of animal does a Mydas fly belong to?

The Mydas fly belongs to the Insecta class.

How many Mydas fly are there in the world?

Since Mydas flies exist in billions and are found all over the world, a definite number is unknown.

Where does a Mydas fly live?

Most species of Mydas fly live in tropical, subtropical, and dry districts (primarily in North America).

What is a Mydas fly habitat?

Many Mydas fly species, including Mydas clavatus, live in eastern North America in prairies, forests, backwoods, and other different habitats. The larvae of most species live in spoiling wood (for example, dead trees lying on the woodland floor) or in the soil.

Who does a Mydas fly live with?

They live in swarms of other Mydas flies.

How long does a Mydas fly live?

Most Mydas flies live for one year as larvae, before becoming adults. Adults have a lifespan of a few weeks only.

How do they reproduce?

Like different flies, Mydas flies starts life as an egg, which hatches into a grublike hatchling. They tend to spend a considerable amount of time as 'beetle larvae' in the larval stage.

Female Mydas flies lay eggs by jabbing and curling their stomachs in a mock stinging way over the soil.

Larvae can be found in backwoods close to dead and spoiling woods.

After the larvae phase, the following stage is as a pupa, after which the bug changes into its final stage, budding out of the pupa as a winged adult with one focal objective of mating and reproducing. In numerous species, males stake out positions at great egg-laying destinations and wait for females to appear who they can mate with.

What is their conservation status?

Depending on the species, their conservation statuses differ. However, they are not endangered due to the short Mydas fly lifespan and the rapid rate at which they reproduce. Officially, the most common status is Not Evaluated.

Mydas Fly Fun Facts

What does a Mydas fly look like?

Individuals from the Mydas fly family are huge (for genuine flies), and lots of species tend to look like wasps (even though they are innocuous). Different species are either dark, black, or tan, with orange, yellow, or red color markings. Like every fly, they just have just one set of wings. However, their clubbed antennae make them look different.

Mydas fly on a green leaf

How cute are they?

Adult Mydas flies of the Mydidae family are noticeably colorful. However, their large size (for a fly) makes them look less adorable.

How do they communicate?

Mydas flies' communication methods involve a loud buzzing sound that they create with their wings during flight, in a garden, or a wood.

How big is a Mydas fly?

The size of different species under the family Mydidae varies from medium-sized to large-sized flies. They may range anywhere between 0.3-2 in (7.62-50.8 mm) in body length.

How fast can a Mydas fly fly?

Mydas flies are good fliers, however, the exact speed of their flight is not known yet. Photographers have commented that their speed makes them hard to capture in a picture though, so that gives us a good idea.

How much does a Mydas fly weigh?

From 471 species of the Mydas fly family, each Mydas fly weighs differently.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Their males and females share a species name (Mydidae) but there are no separate specified names for different genders.

What would you call a baby Mydas fly?

Babies of Mydas flies can be called Mydas flies' larvae.

What do they eat?

As larvae, Mydas flies (Order: Diptera) go after the grubs and insects in their decaying natural wood surroundings. These are their prey.

During the brief time frame that they spend as adults, Mydas flies primarily support themselves with nectar and pollen from blossoms, apparently aiding fertilization. In grasslands, Mydas flies are frequently seen visiting the flowers of the rattlesnake master plant.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous, and Mydas flies do not bite (so we are not at risk of a Mydas fly bite). However, they tend to mimic a stinging behavior in order to fool potential predators. They may look like a wasp, but they are absolutely harmless.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Mydas flies are not an ideal pet due to their wild lifestyle.

Did you know...

Robber flies are similar to the Mydas fly. These predators are also called assassin flies as they are predators of wasps, dragonflies, bees, flowers, and butterflies.

Mydas flies might be small, but fairyflies are the smallest flies in the world.

What is the world's largest fly?

Gauromydas heroes are the world's largest fly with antennae. They grow up to 2.75 in (7 cm) long in size. Crane flies are the largest flies in Australia.

Are Mydas flies dangerous to humans?

No, Mydas flies are not dangerous to humans since they are stingless (even though their bodies look a lot like a wasp).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects, including the ladybird or the Carolina wolf spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Mydas fly coloring pages.

Thank you to Kidadler Stephanie White for providing the image of the Mydas Fly in this article.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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