Bee or Fly?
Location: Southeastern Florida, Palm Beach County
March 15, 2011 10:01 am
I was taking pictures of the blooms on an ornamental cactus, and this bug wouldn’t take no for an answer. It kept getting into the shots. It seemed interested in the pollen at the center of the blooms. Can you identify it for me? Specifically, what kind of Bee or Fly is it? Pics taken 3/13/2011.
Signature: Tom

Flower Fly

Hi Tom,
While we haven’t the time to research the exact species, we can tell you that this is a Syrphid Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  Many Syrphids mimic bees for protection.  You may try to self identify you Flower Fly by browsing through the hundreds of images on BugGuide.

Thanks for the quick answer and the link. I think I found it, Syrphid Flies (Syrphidae) » Syrphinae » Toxomerini » Toxomerus » Toxomerus marginatus.

Thanks so much for taking the initiative on this ID after we provided you with a point of departure.  It really does appear that your Syrphid might be
Toxomerus marginatus, though this is a large and confusing family for us and we believe a dipterist might be needed to accurately confirm this ID.  BugGuide has these interesting remarks :  “Considered beneficial insects, because they are predatory on many plant pests. This article suggests that they and other syrphids are more efficient at pest control in sheltered sites.  When the pupa is exposed to heat, the adults look very pale and orange, if they develop under cold conditions, they turn much darker, sometimes nearly completely black. (Comment by Martin Hauser)”

Location: Florida

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