Bee, Butterfly or Fly?
Location: Mt. Pleasant, Ontario, CAN (Southern Ontario)
August 8, 2011 4:21 pm
Could you please do your best to identify this insect? I found it on this milkweed plant and have never seen it before. Thanks.
At first glance, we thought this was a Tiger Bee Fly, but closer examination revealed our initial error. This is actually a Progressive Bee Fly, Exoprosopa decora, which we identified on BugGuide using the pattern of the wings distinguished it. Bee Flies are pollinating insects that are described on BugGuide as: “Hairy, often brightly colored flies. Legs usually slender, Wings often have dark markings, held outstretched at rest. Face not hollowed out. Eyes almost touching above, especially in males. Proboscis either short with broad tip, or long and used to take nectar. Hover and dart, rather like syrphid flies. Females sometimes seen hovering over sandy areas, dipping abdomen to oviposit.” We had decided to post your photo when we initially thought it was a Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, because we have received numerous images of the species this summer, but our most recent posting is from June 2010. Seems we were either too busy to post the images we received this summer, or the quality was not that good. We even received some images of mating pairs. We feel we should search through old emails to post a recent photo, but that could take hours.