Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Large Bee-fly

Another harbinger of Spring: the large bee-fly, Bombylius major
I love these funny creatures with their ridiculous permanently protruding proboscii. They hover about before zooming in to drink nectar from the primroses and cherry blossom. When they've had sufficient they choose a sunny patch of bare earth or wall to kick back and relax.
Apparently they're a mysterious bunch, the bee-flies. Prolific in species terms but poorly understood scientifically in terms of life-cycle. The majority are parasitic at the larval stage, with some being host-specific while others are more opportunistic. 
They belong to the order Diptera, the true flies. Estimated to contain around a quarter of a million species of which only about half have been described. They are distinguished by having a pair of wings on their mesothorax and sucking mouthparts.
This is the first fly on the blog and surely one of the most popular! 
Post a Comment