Black & white bee?
Location: Washington wetland field
July 19, 2011 10:58 am
Help me find out what this is. It was seen in a wetland field here in the state of Washington. It’s the same size as a bumble bee. I didn’t see it fly, it does appear to have wings. It is also fuzzy like a bumble bee. Thanks
Signature: P Lind
Dear P Lind,
You have encountered a Rodent Bot Fly in the genus Cuterebra. According to BugGuide: “Females typically deposit eggs in the burrows and “runs” of rodent or rabbit hosts. A warm body passing by the eggs causes them to hatch almost instantly and the larvae glom onto the host. The larvae are subcutaneous (under the skin) parasites of the host. Their presence is easily detected as a tumor-like bulge, often in the throat or neck or flanks of the host. The larvae breathe by everting the anal spiracles out a hole (so they are oriented head-down inside the host). They feed on the flesh of the host, but only rarely does the host die as a result.”