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Species Bombylius major - Greater Bee Fly

Bee fly hovering over territory - Bombylius major - male bee fly - Bombylius major Greater Bee Fly? - Bombylius major Greater Bee Fly - Bombylius major - male Unknown Bug - Bombylius major Bombylius Major - Bombylius major Large Bee Fly - Bombylius sp - Bombylius major Bombylius? - Bombylius major
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily Asiloidea
Family Bombyliidae (Bee Flies)
Subfamily Bombyliinae
Tribe Bombyliini
Genus Bombylius
No Taxon (Subgenus Bombylius)
Species major (Greater Bee Fly)
Other Common Names
Dark-edged Bee Fly, Major Bee Fly
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bombylius major Linnaeus, 1758
Size
body 12-18 mm; wingspan to 25 mm
Identification
A common and widespread bee fly, often seen taking nectar on early spring wildflowers or seen hovering in sunny patches in woodlands.
Pile can be brown, yellow, or white. Wings with dark leading edge, hyaline trailing edge with sharp dividing border. This is the only Nearctic Bombylius species with this wing pattern (Hall and Evenhuis).


The color of the pile evidently does not include white, according to Neal Evenhuis:
"Those that were previously placed in B. major that were white like this have been transferred to B. anthophilus." [comment by Neal Evenhuis on this page]
Range
throughout most of NA (Canada and the US to Baja) and Eurasia(1)
Habitat
Woodlands and wood edges
Season
adults fly from March to May (most common in April)
Food
Adults take nectar from flowers of herbaceous plants.
Life Cycle
Larvae are parasitoids of the larvae of solitary bees such as Andrena species (Andrenidae).
See Also
other species of Bombylius, especially Bombylius mexicanus
Print References
Hall, J.C., and N.L. Evenhuis. Family Bombyliidae. pp. 1-96 In Griffiths, G.C.D., Ed., Flies of the Nearctic region. Vol V, pt 13, no 1. E Schweizerbart, Stuttgart.
Internet References
UK Safari live adult image by G. Bradley, plus size, seasonality, food, habitat, and other info
parasitoid of Andrena species abstract of article (Inge Bischoff, Germany, springerlink.com)