wooly bear hover fly (eristalis flavipes)?
August 20, 2009
Found at 8700′ elevation on the summit of Robinson Peak in Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness
8700′ Pasayten Wilderness WA

Woolly Bear Hover Fly

Bot Fly

Dear Tvashtar,
We looked on BugGuide, and we believe your identification of a Woolly Bear Hover Fly, Eristalis flavipes, is correct.  The species mimics Bumble Bees in appearance and behavior.

Correction by Eric Eaton
August 29, 2009
… Thanks for the prompt.  I do have a couple other corrections: …
The “woolly bear hover fly” is actually something much more uncommon:  one of the bot flies that afflicts horses or deer or sheep.  I’ll try to get my friend Jeff Boettner to investigate, as he knows that family very well.  Meanwhile, if the person wants to submit the image to Bugguide, that would be great.  There are precious few images anywhere of these insects. …

3 Responses to Bot Fly

  1. equalrights4parasites says:

    Good eye Eric, I believe you might be right that this is one of five species in the genus Cephenemyia. Neat that you saw it on a mountain top as others in the genus use hilltops to find mates. So this may be a potential lek site. If you go back up keep your eyes out for more. The males play king of the hill and females will mate with the male holding the top when she arrives. I am not as familar with this group but maybe someone out there can confirm the ID.

  2. Marian Doane says:

    I have a whole nest of these in a large Box Elder in the back of our Admin building. Do they nest in cavities in the trees?

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