Subject: Bee or Moth?
Location: Lassen Volcanic Park, California
August 3, 2012 6:27 am
While hiking on Bumpass trail in Lassen Park California, we stumbled on this little critter acting like a hummingbird. It looked like a bee, but a passerby mentioned that it may be a moth.
I’m stumped. Can you help me identify it?
Thanks So Much,
Signature: Rob Fernandes
This is neither a bee nor a moth. We thought it might be a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae, but we did not recognize the markings on the abdomen. We turned to BugGuide where we quickly identified this impressive creature as a Bomber Fly, Heterostylum robustum, indeed one of the Bee Flies. BugGuide identifies it as a: “Large Bee-fly with long proboscis and strong pattern on rear of abdomen.” This is a new species for our archive.
Thanks so much for you help identifying the Bomber Fly! I’m glad I could help expand your archive as well. Here is one other pic of the fly from a different angle showing better leg detail.
Thanks for sending an additional photo Rob. The proboscis is also nicely visible in the new photo.