Other Common Names
Dark-edged Bee Fly, Major Bee Fly
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bombylius major Linnaeus
body 12-18 mm; wingspan to 25 mm
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
throughout most of NA (Canada and the US to Baja) and Eurasia(1)
adults fly from March to May (most common in April)
Adults take nectar from flowers of herbaceous plants.
Larvae are parasitoids
of the larvae of solitary bees such as Andrena
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.
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)