Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Photo#277243
Bombyliidae possibly Apolysis? - Apolysis - female

Bombyliidae possibly Apolysis? - Apolysis - Female
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, California, USA
April 25, 2009
Size: BL about 3.25 mm
This tiny beefly was sipping nectar at Honey Mesquite. Some proboscis!!! The wing venation almost exactly matches Oligodranes in Hull's Bee Flies of the World. Have all the species in that genus been moved to Apolysis?

Images of this individual: tag all
Bombyliidae possibly Apolysis? - Apolysis - female Bombyliidae possibly Apolysis? - Apolysis

Beautiful Apolysis!
And great photo! Love the perpendicular "stripes" of thorax and abdomen.

PS: Just realized I met you and your husband a few years ago on an ABDNHA field trip. I *love* your butterfly book, one of the best!

 
Beautiful Apolysis
Yes, one beautiful miniature bee fly, my first miniature. I didn't realize what I had until I saw the digital image! To me that's the real value of insect photography. It's a whole new undiscovered world! Thanks for your complement.
I don't remember your name, but I remember I was impressed you were down from Sacramento. I just read your bio. You came to insects the same way as I did--through all the colorful insects on flowers!

 
Photography...
...is a terrific study/learning vehicle for me. I investigate, and retain, so much more about an insect, plant, etc. when I photograph it.

You and Gene are esteemed photographers (and naturalists) in my "pantheon". One of the things I love about your butterfly book(1) is the degree to which you integrate host plants, with many superb photos. BTW, though written for the Anza-Borrego area, the book(1) has been very helpful to me as a novice participant in the annual Pinnacles National Monument butterfly count. As I recall, all the many butterfly species on the Pinnacles checklist are covered in your book. I know it's problematic to use guides outside their intended area, as it can lead to error (due to variation or incompleteness beyond the intended scope). But I thought this might be an amusing tidbit for you :-)

 
Thank you
for your compliments. Yes, it seems Gene and I can remember just about every detail of an insect encounter after we have photographed it--for years and years.

Recently we've been studying some small insects a local museum's entomology collection. Our conclusion was that you can only tell what the vast majority of smallish insects, 12 mm and under, are really like by a photograph. Much more so than with a pinned specimen, where the details are just too small to see.

ID
This is Apolysis. These were placed in Oligodranes at the time of Hull's work, but since then, all New World forms were moved to Apolysis. This is a nice and welcome addition to the group, which has many species, but few in BugGuide.

What a neat fly, Lynne!
You aren't kidding either -- that is some proboscis! I'm curious to see what it turns out to be.