Monday, May 18, 2015

A bee fly

As far as I can tell, this is some kind of bee fly. My extensive quick and dirty internet research tells me that there are hundreds of species of bee fly and that they are common throughout most of the world. I saw this one resting on a wild orchid flower out on the vineyard road.

I think the flower is a variety of wild orchid.

It was early morning so I imagine the fly hadn't warmed up enough to move quickly. Lucky for me as I was able to get close with the camera without it flying away.


  1. It looks as though she was laying eggs into the flower? Nice photo. Love orchids.

  2. Bee fly is correct. I can't be sure from the photo exactly what species or sex. The orchid is Greater Butterfly Orchid. The fly probably spent the night on the orchid and may have a 'tongue' long enough to access the orchid's nectar if it is lucky. These orchids are aiming to attract insects with even longer 'tongues' like certain moths. The fly is not laying eggs. They lay eggs by flicking them onto the ground near solitary bee nest holes. The larvae are parasites of solitary bees.

  3. The Bee-fly always remins me of Gonzo from the Muppets....
    great pic, btw.

  4. I have never heard of or seen (or at least noticed) a bee fly before. What an amazing first look. Thanks.

  5. haaaaa haaaa:)
    Adorable photos of Callie :)

  6. I increased my knowledge of bee flies 100% today thanks to your blog, Walt! Another great photo btw.

  7. chm, I hadn't thought of that, but apparently it's not the case.

    susan, yes, the fly hadn't warmed up enough to make a quick getaway. The plant was still shaded from the morning sun.

    tim (or pauline?), I remember Gonzo! My favorite was Grover.

    mitch, I didn't know what it was either, until I looked it up. Oh, the power of the internet!

    judy, I think your comment migrated over from Ken's blog! ;)

    evelyn, thanks!


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