Bee Fly
( Bombyliidae )


2013-0504-EB060704-DIP01134-Bombyliidae[1320h08s,F,A,plant-grass-dry]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Bombyliidae
(Latreille ,1802 )
Common Name:Bee Fly
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Diptera
Suborder:Brachycera
Family:Bombyliidae
Taxon Code:DIP01134
ITIS/TSN:134153

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, 5175 Somersville Rd., Antioch
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CAEB060700
Open Space Location:Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

RECOGNITION
Recognition
Hairy, often brightly colored flies. Legs usually slender, Wings often have dark markings, held outstretched at rest. Face not hollowed out. Eyes almost touching above, especially in males. Proboscis either short with broad tip, or long and used to take nectar. Hover and dart, rather like syrphid flies. Females sometimes seen hovering over sandy areas, dipping abdomen to oviposit.
Description
Hairy, often brightly colored flies. Legs usually slender, Wings often have dark markings, held outstretched at rest. Face not hollowed out. Eyes almost touching above, especially in males. Proboscis either short with broad tip, or long and used to take nectar. Hover and dart, rather like syrphid flies. Females sometimes seen hovering over sandy areas, dipping abdomen to oviposit.
Body Length
4-40 mm.
Diversity
About 800 species in about 70 genera of 13 subfamilies in North America, over 5,000 spp. in more than 230 genera of 15 subfamilies worldwide.
Similar Taxa
Syrphidae are not as hairy and never have a long proboscis

BIOLOGY
Food
larvae are mostly external parasitoids of holometabolous, esp. soil-inhabiting, larvae (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera), slowly consuming the host completely without making a visible wound; a few are endoparasites, predators (esp. on grasshopper eggs), or kleptoparasites; adults take nectar/pollen.
Habitat
females hover over their host's nest, often in dry areas
Range
cosmopolitan; most diverse in semi-arid and arid environments (Yeates & Lambkin 2004)
Diversity
About 800 species in about 70 genera of 13 subfamilies in North America, over 5,000 spp. in more than 230 genera of 15 subfamilies worldwide.
Development
larvae undergo hypermetamorphosis: 1st instar larva is active and penetrates the host's nest, then turns into a sedentary parasitoid; pupa is equipped with spines/spikes to drill out of the nest

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
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