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Thick-headed Flies

Sicus ferrugineus


Thick-headed Flies (Sicus ferrugineus) on a flower scabious in a wet meadow. Limousin, France. Contrary to what one might think, it's not a mate. During the fifteen minutes where I could observe, the lower one (female?) Was powered by turning on the flower and even managed to fly with the procession to go to another flower scabious. This is probably a prelude to mating.


Wet Meadow


Their larvae are endoparasites of bumble bees of the genus Bombus. They pupate and overwinter in ther victims.

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Ali Hemati Pour
Ali Hemati Pour 9 years ago

very cool!

MayraSpringmann 9 years ago

Wow! Incredible!!!!

Simon Stock
Simon Stock 9 years ago

Bonjour, c'est parfait pour la mission 'Hyménoptères : Abeilles, Guêpes, Bourdons, Frelons, Fourmis de France'

Bonne Journée et Happy Spotting

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 years ago

great spotting and an amazing creature !

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 10 years ago

That is truly fabulous. Great info too. Thanks so much.

Atul 10 years ago

lovely !!

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 10 years ago


Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 10 years ago

Balanced Beauty ,,,,

starleaf 10 years ago

Nature humor.

Excellent capture. Thanks for sharing this.

aldrin 10 years ago

nice shot!.. funny! : )

craigwilliams 10 years ago

Great shot! Thanks Anne.

AnneSorbes 10 years ago

It's not very nice for bumblebees that have still a method of defense. The female Thick-headed Fly will post in height, over a flower and waits for a bumblebee foraging arises, then she rushes at him, abdomen forward. If the bumblebee sees or hears it, it drops to the ground, avoiding the attacking.

This species is European but I think other conopidae must be present in America and they must have similar behavior.

Latimeria 10 years ago

I can't help but laugh while looking at this picture! That's interesting that their larvae are parasitoids on bumblebees, I should see if there are similar thick-headed flies in North America that do the same thing.

CarolSnowMilne 10 years ago

I love it!

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Amazing! - Great spot & beautiful photos!

Spotted by

Beynat, Limousin, Tromelin Island

Spotted on Jul 6, 2011
Submitted on Dec 8, 2011


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