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DRAFT / Hymenoptera mimicry by Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, & Araneae

The purpose of this article is to give an example of some of the insects and arachnids the mimic Hymenoptera.

Many insects mimic wasps and bees as a defense mechanism since many species of Hymenoptera have painful sting.


- Family Sesiidae - Clearwing Moths

- Sesia apiformis - Hornet Moth

- Paranthrene simulans - Hornet Clearwing


- Genus Ulochaetes

- Family Glaphyridae - Bumble Bee Scarab Beetles

- Genus Cyrtophorus

- Genus Typocerus

- Species Necrophila americana - American Carrion Beetle


Take a look at this image to see the difference between the eyes of a typical bee and a fly.

- Family Syrphidae - Syrphid Flies

- Milesia virginiensis - Yellowjacket Hover Fly

- Family Asilidae - Robber Flies

- Genus Laphria

- Family Stratiomyidae - Soldier flies

- Family Bombyliidae - Bee Flies

- Family Mydidae - Mydas Flies

Araneae – Spiders

- Family Salticidae - Jumping Spiders

- Family Corinnidae - Antmimics and Ground Sac Spiders

Does anyone know of any more mimics or the ant, bee, or wasp they mimic?

Here are my two best hymenoptera mimics

Bee flies have got to be one
Bee flies have got to be one of my favorite members of the insect kingdom!

Looks good
There are many more members of Diptera, which mimic Hymenoptera, but I am sure you don't want to list all of them. It may help by putting my picture comparing a bee's head to a fly's head under Diptera.

I was not going to list all of the species of Diptera that mimic Hymenoptera, just an example from each family or genus.

More Mimics
Searching on "bee" and "wasp" turned up quite a few, including (but not limited to):

Beeflies (Bombylidae)
Mydas Fly (Mydas clavatus)
Bumble Bee Scarab Beetles (Glaphyridae)
American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila americana)
Typocerus lunulatus

Another category to consider or exclude are all the ant mimics (though most aren't in your three orders).

Add Them
I just might add more orders if they mimic ants. Thanks for your help!

Yellow Jacket Hoverfly

Of Course!
Why didn't I think of that one. Thanks for your help!

I used my own photo as the example, but there are some better ones in the guide.

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