Currently viewing the category: "Bee Flies"

What is this ?
I saw this bug in our garden today. I am in the UK and have never seen anything like it before. It was moving like a humming bird, but does not look like any of the pictures of a hummingbird moth I could find anywhere else.

Hi John,
After reading your letter, we were pleasantly surprised that upon opening the image, it was not a Hummingbird Moth, but a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae.

Pollinator fly
I found your site while trying to ID a pollinator fly I observed at 2100m on the Serra dos Orgaos mountains in Rio de Janeiro state, SE Brazil. Here’s a picture, I’m hoping you can help.
Fernando Rivadavia

Hi Fernando,
This is a Bee Fly in the Family Bombyliidae. We can’t give you an exact species. Bee Flies are furry stout bodied flies that resemble Bumble Bees. Many species have very elongated beaklike mouthparts which your underside view shows nicely. They feed on flower nectar by hovering motionless and drinking from that elongated beak.

What’s this fly?
I have sent you a couple of pics a while back and I believe I have found the names of two of the three unknown; a yellow jacket and a bald face hornet. I have not found the name of this little fly yet. I am sending three pictures of this little creature that let me observe it while it was collecting pollen from Aster flowers. It let me get real close; my macro gear needs to be 8-9 inches from the subject for a picture like the face shot. I landed on your site while I was searching for names of insects I observed; it’s now in my favorites and I visit it on a daily basis to see the new posts. I hope you can identify this little fly.
Guy Côté
Montréal, Qc.

Hi Guy,
Sorry to have not answered your first letter. On busy days we get as many as 50 letters and can only answer about four or five. We choose at random. This is a Large Bee Fly in the genus Bombylius. Adults drink nectar and larva is a parasite in the nest of solitary bees.