Does anyone recognize this bug on my blueberry bush?

livreosa(6b / Sunset Zone 35)June 5, 2014

Hi! I've only started seriously gardening this year, after a move, and the forums here have already been really helpful. So helpful that I decided to register!

I planted two dwarf blueberry bushes in containers a few days ago, and I've been watching them like a mother hen. They were the most expensive plants I've purchased so far, so that's probably partly why.

They are both brazelberries (I wanted a top hat and a dwarf "North" variety, but couldn't find them locally, and the brazelberries did sound neat even though they were more expensive).
One is the variety Peach Sorbet, and the other is Jelly Bean. I spotted this insect on the Peach Sorbet. The insect is winged, and extremely metallic (you can't get the full effect in pictures) and gold in color with stripes-- it's sparkly. It's pretty small, about the size of a fruit fly. I don't think it's spotted wing drosophila. It didn't move at all while I was looking at it and getting close to take a picture.

I googled and tried doing a reverse image search, but I'm not finding anything that looks like this guy.

Is this a known pest or problem for blueberry bushes, or just a random bug taking a break?

Thanks for your help!

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Looks like some type of bee, maybe wasp or hornet. I'm thinking bee though.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:18PM
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I get wasps and those little guys on my bushes all the time. They don't seem to do any noticable damage, seeing how very few of my leaves have holes in them.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:31PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Not an issue. Post back if the leaves start showing damage. Until then welcome and good growing!

Tremendous picture!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Nice pic of a fly. Definitely a fly. Only two wings, not four, so not a bee. Most wasps have four wings as well. And the wings are at rest to the side of the body, not folded over the body. The eyes and thorax to abdomen transition also indicates it is not a wasp. The antennae are too short and fuzzy for a wasp or bee. Typical fly antennae. They eyes really say "fly" as well. Dimpled forward-facing eyes doesn't look like the eyes of a bee or wasp.

Doesn't look like a threat to me.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:16PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

That's Yellow jacket Hover Fly sometimes called Flower fly.
Copy paste:
This is a Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis. It is one of the Syrphid Flies in the family Syrphidae, commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies. Many species in the family mimic bees and wasps, hence your original confusion. The adult Yellow Jacket Hover Fly feeds on nectar and pollen from plants like Queen AnneâÂÂs Lace, and it will also be attracted to the blooms of related plants in your garden like parsley, dill and carrots. BugGuide has a wealth of information on the Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, including this tidbit gleaned from âÂÂFlies aggressively and buzzes like a hornet. In the southern United States, sometimes called the news bee or good news bee for its habit of hovering in front of a person and âÂÂgiving them the newsâÂÂ. It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do.âÂÂ

In link 3rd line on right look for dark eyes click image.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yellow Jacket Hover

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 7:46PM
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livreosa(6b / Sunset Zone 35)

Thanks for all the thorough replies and the warm welcome!

I went back out before there were replies, and the fly was gone and there was no damage on the leaf he was on, so I'm pretty sure it's fine, as most of you said. I saw another one on the bush while I was out there.

We walked over to the community garden and saw several more on various plants, so I guess they are a common bug in this area that I've just never noticed before; or they've only been around for a short while.

I was most perplexed by the color-- they are very metallic in sheen, which reminded me of sweat bees, but sweat bees only seem to come in iridescent shades of blue and green. I haven't seen any pictures with a fly this color-- they are so metallic that they are extremely visible even from a few feet away.

Thank you for the picture compliments fruitnut and charina! It's just an iphone picture, but I have had a few hobbies that encouraged the development of macro-photography skills. :)

I appreciate the thorough "bug expert" replies that taught me more about insects, charina and gator_rider!

I've noticed there's not a lot of pictures on here of the brazelberry bushes (perhaps because they are so recently introduced and are expensive and patented), so here's a top-down picture of the peach sorbet that had the fly. It's been recently put in the new planter, it was in a 1 gallon nursery pot. (The grass is terrible, I know. The yard was neglected for over a year and we haven't had time to do a lot yet. I'm a gardening enthusiast, I don't care about grass so it's hard for me to get excited about growing new grass).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:26PM
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Good call on the bee vs. fly using wing count. Applies to all bees and flies, including the fuzzy "bee fly".

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:00PM
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From gator rider's linked pictures,it looks like it goes after people more than plants.Brady

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:08PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's a fly.
But definitely not "Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis" as has been suggested.
Further, it won't damage plants.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Quick internet lookup... Long-legged Fly (Family Dolichopodidae)... my best guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: Long-legged Fly (Family Dolichopodidae)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:00AM
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livreosa(6b / Sunset Zone 35)

Thank you so much, jean and jt!

JT, that DEFINITELY looks like the little guy! Thank you so much for the ID and the informational page-- sounds like they are good critters to have around my plants, hooray!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Actually - it is probably a beneficial fly.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:32PM
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