Currently viewing the category: "Bee Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario, Can.
Date: 09/23/2017
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
Too hot to fly? Feels like 100F here today.
How you want your letter signed:  Del

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Del,
This is a Tiger Bee Fly, a harmless pollinator.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Short wasp? Weird bee? Sawfly? Just what is this guy?
Geographic location of the bug:  La Jolla, California
Date: 09/19/2017
Time: 06:10 PM EDT
Hello there. I was wondering if you could identify this insect? I am terribly afraid of bees and wasps, so when I took a glance at it after stepping out of my mother’s car (about 6 meters away), I was in a hurry to get away from it. Upon closer inspection, my mother insisted it looked more like a moth than a bee (I have to disagree, but the wings do have peculiar patterns that bees, wasps, and the like usually don’t have, so I guess I could see it.)
It certainly did not fly like a butterfly- it hovered much like a bee or wasp would when it would fly, which is why I thought it was one until I saw the pictures she took.
This fellow was attracted to some yellow flowers we have right outside of our house, (the kind of flower is featured in one picture of the bug) if that means anything at all. Yet again, bees and butterflies also tend to hang out there, so I guess that’s nothing really important, although it lets you know this guy’s a pollinator.
Anyways, if you could help me identify this bug I would so much appreciate it. I’ve tried looking everywhere to find his species and have had no luck.
Thank you kindly.
How you want your letter signed:  T.H.

Bee Fly

Dear T.H.,
Mistaking this Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae for a bee is quite understandable.  It is quite a beautiful Bee Fly and we suspect it is the same species that visited the offices of What’s That Bug? this weekend in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, but alas, we were unable to get an image of it before it flew away.  We have identified it as
Poecilanthrax arethusa thanks to the Natural History of Orange County site.  Unfortunately, other than providing a range, BugGuide does not have any species specific information on this gorgeous, and perfectly harmless, Bee Fly, but the genus page does credit D. Yeates with the revelation “Endoparasitoids of Noctuidae pupae.”  We followed the provided link to ResearchGate where it states:  “The recorded host range of Bombyliidae spans seven insect Orders and the Araneae; almost half of all records are from bees and wasps (Hymenoptera). No Bombyliidae have evolved structures to inject eggs directly into the host as is the case in many hymenopterous parasitoids. Bombyliid larvae usually exhibit hypermetamorphosis, and contact their host while it is in the larval stage. Bee fly larvae consume the host when it is in a quiescent stage such as the mature larva, prepupa or pupa.”  The indicated hosts, the pupae of moths in the family Noctuidae, generally pupate underground.  INaturalist has numerous Southern California sightings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  ID help please?
Geographic location of the bug:  Chicopee, MA
Date: 09/13/2017
Time: 09:40 PM EDT
Hi there,
I have looked around the internet, as well as posted to various Facebook pages. Some guesses were made, however nothing concrete, so I’m turning to the bugman…. Oh, & this was taken 9/12/17.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you, Kristi

Bee Fly

Dear Kristi,
We are certain this is a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae, but we are not certain of the genus or species.  Right now, we believe it is a member of the tribe Villini which is well represented on BugGuide, and when time permits, we will attempt a more specific identification based on your location, and this critter’s wing markings and veination.

 Anthracinae » Villini » Rhynchanthrax – ?
Thank you! You got me far enough that I believe I may have got the rest. If you find I am incorrect, please lemme know.

We don’t think so.  Though it looks similar, based on BugGuide data, that is a western genus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Deer fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Ontario
Date: 09/10/2017
Time: 03:22 PM EDT
Father says it’s a deer fly but to me it seems to be to big.. any help? It’s 1/2″-1″ across. For scale the fly is on the side of a 2×4. Early September, middle of the day.
How you want your letter signed:  Wayne

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Wayne,
this is a Tiger Bee Fly, and you can verify its identity on BugGuide.  Tiger Bee Flies do not sting nor do they bite humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: stange stinger fly
Location: Puerto Vallarta
July 26, 2017 7:54 pm
What is this? I am in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This was on my kitchen screen. I trapped and released.
Signature: Barb

Bee Fly

Dear Barb,
Your image is too blurry to provide a species identification, but we are relatively certain you encountered a harmless Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large black flying insect
Location: Columbus, Ohio
July 16, 2017 12:08 pm
We are seeing quite a few of these bugs in our backyard and one of our dogs is extra curious. Is it harmful or invasive? What is it?
Signature: Kate

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Kate,
The Tiger Bee Fly is native and it is harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination