Currently viewing the category: "Bee Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: guarding my house today
Location: Oshawa, Ontario
August 12, 2015 1:57 pm
Dearest bugman,
Thanks to you, I have become more of a friend to bugs.
This afternoon, there is a very giant fly with spotted wings guarding the back door to my house. She (I think it’s a she) is sitting right on the keyhole! Thankfully, I come in through the garage…I have a feeling it is a kind of horse fly but have never actually seen one. I’ve never seen a fly this big or one with markings on its wings. We are in Oshawa, Ontario and the day is sunny and windy but she would be out of the sun and wind where she is sitting right now. Didn’t even care that I took pictures and opened the door twice…I was hoping to see a luna moth one day and not so much this guy…
be well and keep up the awesome work!
Signature: Robin

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Robin,
Thank you so much for your kind compliments.  This distinctive fly is a Tiger Bee Fly, a species that parasitizes Carpenter Bees.  Unlike female Horse Flies that might bite humans, this Tiger Bee Fly poses no threat to you or your pets.

Dearest Daniel,
Thank you so much for your response and for enlightening me about my visitor. I am honoured to be hearing from the bugman himself! I actually have your book!
Passion is what makes life worth living and yours is obvious. To give of yourself and your time as you have for so many years is a most incredible testament to passion. Thank you for sharing that as you have and for teaching so many of us so very much.
Stay passionate,
Robin
ps – bibitte is the French word for bug – I’ve been driving a vw bug for 15 years…

I’m blushing.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: STILETTO FLY?
Location: Ouachita Mountains, Ark.
August 10, 2015 6:50 pm
Hi! Are these Stiletto Flies? Photographed on a small bridge overlooking a creek in Fannie, Arkansas. Only one photo of them mating before they left. Summer, Aug. 10th. Is this a common variety?
Signature: Bill Burton

Mating Flies

Mating Bee Flies

Dear Bill,
Though they resemble Stiletto Flies, we cannot find a matching image on BugGuide.  Among the most noticeable diagnostic features for us are the posterior edge of the eye having an unusual concave feature and the spacing between the eyes being almost equal between the male and the female.  We have requested assistance from Eric Eaton and we hope he can provide an identification soon.

Eric Eaton Identifies mating Bee Flies
Daniel:
I do recognize these as bee flies, family Bombyliidae.  I don’t recognize the genus offhand.  Herschel Raney’s “Random Acts of Nature” website might have pages devoted to bee flies of Arkansas.  I know he has lots on Arkansas *robber* flies…..
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Ed. Note:  We scanned the images on Random Natural Acts and BugGuide, but we could not conclusively identify these mating Bee Flies.  Assistance from our readership is always welcomed.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Adorable Bees
Location: 15 miles North of Plankinton, SD
August 7, 2015 11:34 am
Dear Bugman,
Can you help me identify these adorable fuzzy bees? I believe they are a native species. They are very docile, feeding on coneflowers, I can gently touch their abdomens. They enjoy watering time, as it is quite hot and dry! There is also a couple of other species of small bees in the pics. Thanks so much. My father and son love your site!
Signature: Kate, Nature Lover

Bee Flies

Bee Flies

Dear Kate, Nature Lover,
Though they resemble Bees, most of the insects in your images are Bee Flies in the family Bombyliidae, probably in the Tribe Bombyliini which is pictured on BugGuide.  Bee Flies and other True Flies can be distinguished from other insects, including Bees, because Flies have a single pair of wings and most other insects have two pairs of wings.  Bee Flies, which do not sting, benefit from their resemblance to stinging Bees.  One of your images includes a single Bee Fly on the same blossom as what appears to be a Longhorned Bee.

Bee Flies

Bee Flies

Longhorned Bee (left) and Bee Fly

Longhorned Bee (left) and Bee Fly

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Essington Pa
July 25, 2015 9:38 am
Noticed them around the carpenter bees..which seem to be dying. Noticing bee carcasses. And no more carpenter bees…
Signature: Kristi Stewart

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Kristi,
This is a Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus, and according to BugGuide:  “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa.  Adult food unknown. An adult has been observed on damp mud, lapping up fluids (pers. observation, P. Coin).”  What we do not know and what we plan to research is at what point the adult emerges from the host Carpenter Bee.  Were we Tiger Bee Flies planning responsible parenthood, we would wait until the adult Carpenter Bee (see image of western Valley Carpenter Bees) emerges from the wood to complete metamorphosis because Tiger Bee Flies, unlike Carpenter Bees, do not possess the necessary mouth parts to chew their way out of the wood.  If the adult Tiger Bee Fly emerges after the adult Carpenter Bee emerges and begins to fly, that would explain the Eastern Carpenter Bee carcasses you are finding and it might also explain this previous mystery posting from our archives.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Strange Sighting
Location: Philadelphia, PA U.S.A.
July 17, 2015 9:02 am
I went out to my front yard looking at my impatiens plants. On one petal, there appeared this strange insect. It definitely was suckling on the flower . It looks like it’s conjoined and has two heads connected in the middle. Here’s some pictures that I took. Are these conjoined butterflies?
Signature: Barb Ward

Mating Bee Flies

Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Dear Barb,
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies,
Xenox tigrinus, and according to BugGuide:  “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa.
Adult food unknown. An adult has been observed on damp mud, lapping up fluids (pers. observation, P. Coin).  Life Cycle Female lays eggs at entrance of carpenter bee nests. Larvae waits until carpenter bee’s larvae reach the pupal stage to parasitize it.”  Other Bee Flies in the family Bombyliidae are pollinating insects, and we find it unusual that BugGuide states the “adult food unknown” but your observation indicates that these individuals might have been feeding from the flowers while procreating.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a type of bee?
Location: wimberly, tx
May 31, 2015 11:33 am
we are trying to figure out if this is a type of bee.
Signature: Tater bug

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Tater bug,
We believe we have properly identified your Bee Fly as Poecilanthrax lucifer, based on images posted to BugGuide where we learned:  “The larvae feed on the moth larva of members of the family Noctuidae.”

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination