Subject: What is this?
Location: Essington Pa
July 25, 2015 9:38 am
Noticed them around the carpenter bees..which seem to be dying. Noticing bee carcasses. And no more carpenter bees…
Signature: Kristi Stewart

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Kristi,
This is a Tiger Bee Fly,
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).”  What we do not know and what we plan to research is at what point the adult emerges from the host Carpenter Bee.  Were we Tiger Bee Flies planning responsible parenthood, we would wait until the adult Carpenter Bee (see image of western Valley Carpenter Bees) emerges from the wood to complete metamorphosis because Tiger Bee Flies, unlike Carpenter Bees, do not possess the necessary mouth parts to chew their way out of the wood.  If the adult Tiger Bee Fly emerges after the adult Carpenter Bee emerges and begins to fly, that would explain the Eastern Carpenter Bee carcasses you are finding and it might also explain this previous mystery posting from our archives.

Location: Essington, Pennsylvania

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