March flies

Not considered a nursery production pest, March flies, Bibio albipennis and Bibio xanthippes, are found on occasion in large numbers in production areas. What we call March flies are in the familiy Bibionidae (in some parts of the world March flies refer to Tabanid flies, which are biting flies). These flies are dimorphic, the males and females differing in appearance. They are often found joined together. This gave rise to the common name of love bugs for a similar species, Plecia sp., found in the south. For our area, March fly is a misnomer as they are usually found in April and May in Western Oregon.

More information can be found at the following websites:

Colorado Insects of Interest: March Flies Colorado State University

North Carolina State University: Department of Entomology Insect Notes: March Flies.

Brisbane Insects: March Flies. Nice images of March Flies at this site.

Original publication: 5/4/2006
Most recent update. 4/18/2016

Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University

March Flies are also known as Love bugs. Photo: Eric Smith

March Flies are also known as Love bugs.
Photo: Eric Smith

Male March fly on a pear leaf. Photo Robin Rosetta

Male March fly on a pear leaf.
Photo Robin Rosetta

Female March fly, Bibio xanthipennis. Photo: Ken Gray

Female March fly, Bibio xanthipennis.
Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio xanthipennis. Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio xanthipennis.
Photo: Ken Gray

March fly larva, Bibio xanthipennis. Photo: Unknown

March fly larva, Bibio xanthipennis.
Photo: Unknown

March fly larva, Bibio albipennis. Photo: Ken Gray

March fly larva, Bibio albipennis.
Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio xanthipennis. Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio xanthipennis.
Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio albipennis. Photo: Ken Gray

Male March fly, Bibio albipennis.
Photo: Ken Gray