What is That Insect?

June 24, 2020

What is That Insect?

The other day I was turning on the hose water up next to the house when I saw a VERY STRANGE insect flying from flower to flower in the nearby flower bed. It had a very long proboscis and was busily harvesting nectar.

What on earth? It was a little over an inch long, with about a wingspan of about 1 1/2 inches as well. The body had a yellow patch near the tail area. It wasn’t, of course, a hummingbird or the moth that can be mistaken for one. The proboscis was…long.

Was it some sort of bee? Or wasp?

No. A bit of quick research showed it to be a Bombylius Major FLY.

They don’t bite, sting, or spread disease. They are harmless to humans. But they are a “parasite bee mimic fly.” They do play a role in pollination. They are parasitic as they do desposit eggs in bee and wasp nests. After hatching, the larvae feed on the bee or wasp grubs.

I should have been an entomologist or a zoologist.

Here’s a link to more information where you can see images of this very interesting FLY:


Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

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