Subject: Moth or Bee?
Location: Northeast Florida
July 4, 2012 7:07 pm
I can usually figure out most of the bugs I see, but this one has me puzzled. It was sitting on the fence in my yard in northeast FL this morning. It was about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches across at the widest part of the wings. It kept moving around and didn’t stay in one place very long, so this the best I could do with a photo before it left. At first I thought it was a moth, but it also looks something like a bee.
Signature: Karen in FL

Subject: Moth or Bee Follow-up
Location: Northeast Florida
July 5, 2012 4:58 pm
I sent in a photo last night that I was having trouble identifying–at first it looked like a moth to me, but up close more like a bee. I continued to research this bug today and finally got an ID–it’s a Tiger Bee Fly! I learned that Tiger Bee Flies lay eggs in Carpenter Bees’ tunnels and that the Tiger Bee Fly larvae prey on the Carpenter Bees’ young. We do have Carpenter Bees around so that all made sense to me. I’m attaching my Tiger Bee Fly photo again in case you missed it earlier.
Signature: Karen in FL

Tiger Bee Fly

Hi Karen,
Congratulations on identifying your Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus.  There is wonderful information on BugGuide.

I would have identified it sooner if I hadn’t been sure for awhile that it was some sort of moth! I’ve never seen one of these before, so it was interesting to come across it and figure out what it was.

Location: Florida

18 Responses to Tiger Bee Fly

  1. Claudette Ramsey says:

    These just showed up this week in the front of my house and they are chasing the hummingbirds away, not allowing them to get to the feeders. Have you ever heard of them doing this before? We had carpenter ants a couple of years ago. The tree that they came from is gone thanks to Superstorm Sandy. I wonder what’s bringing the Tiger Bee flies?

  2. Claudette Ramsey says:

    I forgot to mention that I’m in Princeton, NJ.

  3. Claudette Ramsey says:

    I’m trying to send pictures but I keep getting a Failed message. I’m using Google Chrome. Is that the problem?

  4. Lisa says:

    Drexel Hill, PA
    I have seen these around my house for the past 2 summers and was wondering if they were a bee or a fly. Now I know. Last summer we watched 2 of the new grown ones birth from the carpenter bee holes in our deck railing. Our puppy is enjoying chasing them around the yard. Do they bite or sting?

    • bugman says:

      Tiger Bee Flies do not bite nor sting. They do parasitize the nests of Carpenter Bees as your observation indicates.

  5. Raayven says:

    Found one of these in indianapolis IN too, so they aren’t subjective to Florida.

  6. ooooo says:

    do tiger bee flies migrate


    I’ve been bitten by one of them he bit or stung me multiple times and it hurt real bad

    • bugman says:

      To the best of our knowledge, Bee Flies neither sting nor bite. We suspect you are mistaken regarding the identity of the insect that bit or stung you.

    • Lisa says:

      I have been bit also. If you get close to what I assume is a nest they will stay with you until you are a distance from the nest and every time they land on you they will bite or sting you. They leave welts when they bite! I came to this page trying to find a way to get rid of them. We can’t go in our back yard without getting bit.

      • bugman says:

        To the best of our knowledge, Tiger Bee Flies do not bite nor sting. Tiger Bee Flies are parasites of Carpenter Bees, laying eggs in the nest of the Bees. Tiger Bee Flies DO NOT protect the nest. We believe you have mistaken a Tiger Bee Fly for the creature that bit or stung you. A much more likely candidate is a Deer Fly or a Horse Fly, both of which will bite and suck blood readily.

  8. Michelle says:

    Nope was definitely this bug not a deer or horse fly. I don’t know about the whole best thing but this but repeatedly bite me and it does hurt. That is how I knew it landed on me and every time it landed on me it hurt. 100% sure I am NOT mistaken.

  9. Susan Hill says:

    Oh yes they do bite! I have been bitten and am having some kind of reaction to it. I am not mistaken either. I was in my pool laying on a float and it landed on my foot so I got a good look at it. My foot is swelled and itching is relentless. They definitely bite!

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