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Villa lateralis? - Villa - female

Villa lateralis? - Villa - Female
Huddart Park, San Mateo County, California, USA
August 9, 2008
Size: ~ 6 mm
I found this bee fly apparently rubbing the tip of it's abdomen on the soil in an open area - I thought it must be an ovipositing female, but perhaps the eyes suggest a male?? Maybe Villa lateralis?

Moved from Bee Flies.

Sand chamber
The fly was filling her sand chamber, an act which a large clade of Bombyliids perform to fascilitate egg-throwing. When she oviposits, you'll see her bobbing downward with a flick of the abdomen.

Thanks, Andy!
So this is an adult female, then, and the eyes aren't quite holoptic? Do you agree with V. lateralis? Appreciate the natural history info. - one of my favorite things about this site...

I have seen this sort of thing called V. lateralis, but until the genus is revised, most assignments will be dubious.

OK - thanks -
will leave it at the genus level, then... Feel free to move as you see fit.

Regarding male/female
Ken, I thought it looked like a male at first too. But upon further inspection, I could see a (not huge, but significantly) thick partition between the eyes...even at the vertex.

Thanks, Aaron -
you must be right - the behavior fits as well.

Compare with images of your fly's "cousin"
...from a nearby locale, seen below:

The lighting in those images makes the partition between the eyes a bit easier to discern. Not quite holoptic (where the eyes would be virtually contiguous in the area of the vertex).

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