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Photo#1100247
Bee Fly - Bombylius validus

Bee Fly - Bombylius validus
Cook County, Illinois, USA
July 11, 2015

Images of this individual: tag all
Bee Fly - Bombylius validus Bee Fly - Bombylius validus

Moved
Very interesting. Based on the wing pattern (hind margin smoky), structure, and colour pattern, I suspect this is the rare B. validus.

Moved from Bee Flies.

 
Curious...
I have no expertise in Bee Flies, but I wonder if these photos alone are sufficient to call this B. validus. For example, the single photo in the Alberta reference (http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=5946) shows a different wing coloration ("Anterior third of wing translucent with faded orange-brown tint, posterior colorless and transparent"). My fly has more of a dark brown tint, not orange brown, and the posterior isn't exactly transparent. Also, I saw my fly in an oak savanna habitat, which I don't think of as an "arid region." Thoughts?

 
B. validus
The Alberta specimen is actually B. mexicanus. Many specimens of the latter in collections are misidentified as validus. I don't know where they got the information on the species occurring in arid regions, the distribution is the northeast/upper midwest, none of which is particularly arid. Oak savanna tends to be a pretty good habitat for bombyliids, it often occurs on sandy soils which support a diversity of species.

 
Well that's frustrating...
Flawed expert sources don't make our lives easy. Can you point me to a another source with better description, distribution, status information? The only site I have found is this: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/species/id/570d54da6d1e6f05c71390eba36008aa. It says "Minnesota to Michigan, s. to Illinois & Virginia," which is consistent with your description. But it has no info on status/scarcity.

Are the photos on the UBC site valid? (http://www.biodiversity.ubc.ca/entomology_pictures/Diptera/Bombyliidae/). They do look much closer to my fly.

Looks like Harvard has some old specimens... http://mczbase.mcz.harvard.edu/name/Bombylius%20validus. I wonder if those are Loew's originals.

 
B. validus
The UBC ones are misidentified B. mexicanus as well. In the ventral view you can see the coxae have yellow hair - B. validus should have black hair there (although some mexicanus have black as well). The Harvard photos are of the lectotype, and there are photos of a correctly identified specimen here. Other than that there probably isn't much on the web. There is a description in Hall and Evenhuis' revision of the genus (Flies of the Nearctic Region vol. 13 no. 1) but no additional information on its status.

 
Thanks for the info.
The reason I'm curious about its status is so I can report back to the stewards of the park where I saw the fly. Presumably it isn't a listed (threatened or endangered) species, but they would probably appreciate more info. Maybe "rare" will suffice.

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