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Bee fly

Ligyra tantalus


Large fly about 16 – 17mm length. Thorax dorsal bald, flanked with thick orange/brown hair. Abdomen fat, tapering to rear. Black with a thinning white stripe on the second segment. Two pairs of white marks on the 4th and 5th segments. Wings steel blue (depending on viewing angle) and transparent. Arista on tip of antennae rather than side.


Adjacent to a small stream. Altitude 1000m.


The fly is a pollen feeder, considered an important species for the survival of some plants. Not a great deal known about its life cycle, except that this family of flies are parasitic, laying their eggs in beetle holes, bee and wasp nests. Often seen on the ground, sitting up, holding its head high. Not sure of the reason for this, as it is not hunting for prey. Possibly a sun thing. More observation required.

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Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander 8 years ago

Amazing creature, folicallychalled!

ChunXingWong 8 years ago

Thank you for sharing this.
This spotting has helped me identified an unknown spotting.

folicallychalled 8 years ago

Thanks very much Noel and Lauren :)


Noel Buensuceso
Noel Buensuceso 8 years ago

Very nice series and info. Dave!

LaurenZarate 8 years ago

Wonderful find and so beautiful. Never saw a Bee Fly with iridescent wings before!

Spotted by

Cimahi, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Spotted on May 20, 2013
Submitted on May 20, 2013

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