Subject: A Strange Sighting
Location: Philadelphia, PA U.S.A.
July 17, 2015 9:02 am
I went out to my front yard looking at my impatiens plants. On one petal, there appeared this strange insect. It definitely was suckling on the flower . It looks like it’s conjoined and has two heads connected in the middle. Here’s some pictures that I took. Are these conjoined butterflies?
Signature: Barb Ward
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies, Xenox tigrinus, and 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). Life Cycle Female lays eggs at entrance of carpenter bee nests. Larvae waits until carpenter bee’s larvae reach the pupal stage to parasitize it.” Other Bee Flies in the family Bombyliidae are pollinating insects, and we find it unusual that BugGuide states the “adult food unknown” but your observation indicates that these individuals might have been feeding from the flowers while procreating.