Blue Shiny Bee

Mexican Cactus Fly

Blue Shiny Bee
Location: Torrey Pines, CA
April 11, 2011 10:58 pm
This fat flying bee was hovering around the path and kept coming to the same place – guarding his territory? His large shape reminds me of the Carpenter Bee, but I haven’t been able to identify him. He had a very shiny iridescent blue abdomen. His wings seemed either white or clear with a dark pattern on the forewing and towards the attachment (tegula?) His face was white or at least light. I’ll attach three photos. The first one is best.
Signature: Laura M

Mexican Cactus Fly

Hi Laura,
This is a true Fly, not a Bee.  Most Flies have a single pair of wings while Bees have two pairs.  We do not have time to research the species at the moment, but we will take the time to post all three of your marvelous action photos so that our readership can take a stab at this identification while we are at work today.  The markings on the wings should help in the identification.

Mexican Cactus Fly

We actually followed our suspicions and we believe we are correct that this is a Mexican Cactus Fly, Copestylum mexicanum, a species well represented on BugGuide.

Daniel – thank you so very much! I didn’t know flies could have such large abdomens, or be as large as this was.
Your very speedy answer is very much appreciated!

Location: California

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