Subject: Moth or Fly?
Location: Baltimore, MD
August 6, 2014 10:44 am
This guy was on my “golden jubliee” agastache, the last week of July, in Baltimore, Maryland. I live in the city itself, but we have a park nearby and lots of neighbors have nice gardens.
I’ve never seen anything like this one before. I was thinking a clearwing moth, but it doesn’t look like any I’ve seen. Do you know?
This large fly is commonly called a Tiger Bee Fly and its scientific name is Xenox tigrinus. You can view a nice matching image on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa. Adult food unknown. An adult has been observed on damp mud, lapping up fluids (pers. observation, P. Coin).” Many Bee Flies in the family Bmbyliidae are important pollinators, and your observation on the agastache (See High Country Gardens) would indicate that despite the lack of information on the feeding habits of the Tiger Bee Fly on BugGuide, it is also a pollinator like other members of the family.