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Bee Fly



This little fly was in constant motion and difficult to photograph!


Spotted on wild mustard blossoms, Point Bonita Lighthouse, San Francisco, CA.


Identifying Features: Hovering fly with densely hairy body and long, beak-like mouthpart, front parts of wing black. This fly is found in July and August on bright sunny days as it hovers around flowers. They readily are seen in gardens and hover and nectar like miniature hummingbirds. The females lay their eggs in the burrows of ground nesting solitary bees and the fly larvae parasitize the bee larvae, usually after the bee larvae pupates. The wings of these flies are almost constantly in motion as they nectar, perhaps in order to escape predators such as crab spiders. In an instant they can zip away out of danger. They have large compound eyes and also have the ability to sense air motion, all of which makes them difficult to approach.

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misako 9 years ago

Thank you Tanya--this was a first sighting for me. It was very small and fast. I was fortunate to get the shot.

TanyaGuiler 9 years ago

I have never seen or heard of a bee fly before. Great shot, you have tremendous patience, thank you for sharing!

misako 9 years ago

Thank you Nopayahnah. I have never seen one before either and was pleasantly surprised!

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

I've never seen a hairy fly like this one - thanks for sharing!

Spotted by

Mill Valley, California, USA

Spotted on Mar 11, 2012
Submitted on Mar 12, 2012

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