Friday, April 23, 2010

Bee Flies

It looked a bit like a bee, a bit like a fly, hovering over spring flowers while it sipped nectar with its long proboscis. I gave google a list of features--fly hovering long proboscis--searched through the answers offered, and decided I had seen a "bee fly," specifically Bombylius major.

The bee fly was hard to photograph, but can be seen somewhat blurrily hovering over a spring beauty flower in this photo.

From Wikipedia: "The large bee fly, Bombylius major, is a bee mimic. The eggs are flicked by the adult female toward the entrance of the underground nests of solitary bees and wasps. After hatching, the larvae find their way into the nests to feed on the grubs."

The photo is borrowed from a website that provides thousands of images to help identify various critters:

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