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Possible solitary bee - Platycheirus - female

Possible solitary bee - Platycheirus - Female
San Rafael, Marin County, California, USA
January 4, 2010
Size: 3/8 inch approx
This very tiny creature seemed to be enjoying our backyard rosemary plants, as many honey bees were. I happened to catch it after landing on an oxalis leaf. Unlike honey bees, who dart fairly quickly from plant to plant, this creature hovered like a helicopter prior to landing. Could it be a solitary bee?

This image would benefit from some cropping. Remember that only you and the editors can see the full size image; everybody else misses the details. Also, bugs show a lot better when browsing through thumbnails if the image is cropped to emphasize the bug.

Moved from ID Request.

Its a fly.
Probably a Hover Fly in family Syrphidae:

There are a lot of people on the site that should be able to tell you for sure, and maybe what genus its in if I have the correct family.

Natalie's ID to family is good.
Platycheirus sp. We have an expert on these who visits from time to time, so ID to species may be possible. Compared to many other syrphids, this genus has very delicate-looking legs.

This specimen is a female. With most syrphids, large eyes that touch at the top front denote a male.

Theresa, there are a lot of such colorful, small flies aloft in California now, so keep a look-out. They do love flowers and can often be seen hovering in shafts of sunlight in otherwise darkened areas. Good hunting!

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