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

Subject: Furry bug
Location: Bay Area, San Francisco
July 11, 2017 6:16 pm
Dear bugman,
This furry little bug landed on my foot, stayed for a bit and then gently flew away. What do you think it is? Thank you!
Signature: Melissa S.

Bee Fly

Dear Melissa,
This is a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Camera Hog
Location: Maryland
July 11, 2017 4:49 pm
Something landed on security camera and covered up the lens. I sure jumped and then realized it was a bug.. I tried to get a clear picture, but the security camera is black and so is the bug. When my husband pushed it with his finger, it flew off fast and was gone before we could get a good look. Best photos I could get are attached.
Signature: Mary

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Mary,
We wish you had sent an image of what the security camera “saw” that made you jump.  There is still enough detail in your image to tell that this is a harmless Tiger Bee Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “wing pattern distinctive.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help me identify this bug
Location: Southampton, UK
April 20, 2017 2:53 am
Hi Bugman!
Love your site, great idea! I am hoping you can identify a bug for me… This was spotted in South of UK over the Easter Weekend (16th April), it seemed to have a long proboscis!
Can you help?
Thanks,
Signature: Will

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Will,
The Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, is found in Europe as well as in North America.  It is a harmless species that helps to pollinate flowers.  According to Wildlife Watch:  “The larvae are nest parasites of ground-nesting bees, feeding on the bee grubs.”

Wow! What amazing service, thanks Bugman! 🙂
A really interesting fly then – looks like it mimics a bee but is really a fly…
Will

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery insect?
Location: South east, U.K.
March 24, 2017 10:29 am
Haven’t ever seen this type before would love to have it identified.
Signature: Alexa

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Alexa,
Please forgive us for making a bad joke, but aren’t you supposed to have all the answers?  This is a Bee Fly, most likely
Bombylius major which is pictured on NatureSpot where it states:  ” A strange looking insect with its furry body and patterned wings. The long proboscis is used for drinking nectar and the fly is totally harmless.”

Haha exactly! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: My Moroccan Insect Pix
Location: Morocco
November 24, 2016 10:09 am
Dear Daniel Marlos:
Just happened upon your site and decided to let you know about my own minor efforts in entomology. I spend a good deal of my time (retired) in Morocco and one thing I do is take photos of all sorts of subjects, including plenty of ‘bug’ pictures – especially bees and butterflies. Many are as yet to be uploaded since I’m trying to learn the basics about taxonomy but, alas, it’s slow going!
Perhaps you could take a few minutes and look at some of the galleries. If you, or another entomologist, might see scientific value in helping with identification, that would certainly reinforce me efforts. I just did a Google image search for ‘Bees of Morocco’ and see that the majority of images that come up are my own.
The website is: darbalmira.com You’ll see the table of contents on the left side with the various insects photos as submenus. As I said, I have lots more photos but have been holding back since I think it’s important to put a name on living creature – not just ‘bee’ or ‘bug’.
Thanks for any help or suggestions you might offer.
Jearld Moldenhauer
Signature: Jearld Moldenhauer

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Gearld,
Your images are beautiful, especially that of the only one we can identify to the family without research.  It is the green-eyed Bee Fly from the family Bombyliidae.  Today is American (USA) Thanksgiving and our staff is cooking, so we will attempt a species identification at a later time, as well as trying to identify your Hymenopterans.  In the future, please only submit one insect per submission.  It makes it easier to classify.  The only exception would be insects in the same family or those that have a symbiotic or predator/prey relationship.  You should know that our editorial staff is composed of artists, not entomologists, so we cannot commit to identifying your unknown critters, but if you send them to us, one individual per submission, we will be happy to research to the best of our ability. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identification
Location: Tucson, AZ
October 6, 2016 6:04 pm
Dear Bugman,
I am submitting a few photos of insects for identification. They were taken between October 1 and 4 2016 in our community garden in Tucson, AZ.
Image 1 I believe to be a bee fly, perhaps of genus Exoprosopa.
…I would be very happy if you could identify the insets in these photos that I would like to share with my fellow gardeners.
Thanks very much!
Signature: Melody

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Melody,
We agree that this is a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae, but in our opinion, you have the genus misidentified.  The pattern on the wings looks more like the pattern on the wings of
Dipalta serpentina which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “The wing venation is quite distinctive: the radial segment R2+3 is strongly contorted into an ‘S’-shape, and is connected (at first sinus of the ‘S’) by a cross-vein to R4 (see wing diagram from the MND here).”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larvae are parasitoids of pupae, and perhaps also larvae, of antlions (Myrmeleontidae).”

Dear Daniel,
Thanks very much for the inset identification. I didn’t know the Bug Guide rules so apologize for sending photos of on-related species.
I am attaching the same photo of the dorsal view of the bee fly along with a three quarter view in which the pattern of dark pigmentation in the wing is more easily seen. This pigmentation pattern does not quite match that of the Dialta serpentina photo on Bug Guide. But perhaps pigmentation is variable and venation is what is what is used for identification purposes?
Thanks again. I am just a gardener, not a dedicated bug geek, but am always fascinated by the diversity of insects we see in our organic garden.
Thanks again!
Melody

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Hi again Melody,
For clarification, we are What’s That Bug? and we frequently cite BugGuide, an entirely different website when we attempt to identify the submissions we receive.  There is no need for you to apologize.  While we attempt to identify as many submissions as we can, we are also interested in posting excellent submissions to our archive, and that is the primary reason we request that submissions be limited to a single individual, species or family, unless there are extenuating circumstances.  With that stated, with difficult identifications, often multiple views of the same individual are helpful in making identifications, and for that reason, we allow our curious readership to attach up to three images.  Regarding pigmentation pattern, there is often variation within a single species, and veination pattern is a more scientifically accepted method for taxonomic identification.  That said, our editorial staff does not have any formal entomological background, so our identifications are questionable at best.  We are frequently wrong and we enthusiastically welcome corrections from true experts.  If you look at other images on BugGuide of
Dipalta serpentina, you will see that there are individuals with pigmentation patterns that are similar to your individual.  Finally, modern identification is depending more and more on DNA analysis, which is leading to lumping together of formerly distinct species and subspecies, and splitting apart of formerly single species.  At the end of the day, insects and other creatures are better at identifying potential mates in their own species than we humans are.
P.S.  Your Ant identification request is still on our back burner, and we would humbly request, if you have the time and you want to make our posting a bit easier, for you to resubmit the image, use our standard submission form, and attach multiple views of those Ants so we are able to more carefully consider their physical characteristics.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination