Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events


Genus Anthrax

Friendly Bee Fly - Anthrax irroratus Bee Fly_ZH3Z6393 - Anthrax Fly - unident - Anthrax georgicus - male - female ID please - Anthrax Syrphid fly ? spotted wings - Anthrax Bombyliid of sorts... - Anthrax Anthrax aterrimus? - Anthrax aterrimus Black fly - Anthrax argyropygus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily Asiloidea
Family Bombyliidae (Bee Flies)
Subfamily Anthracinae
Tribe Anthracini
Genus Anthrax
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Synonyms: Macquart 1834
Anthrax analis, Anthrax albofasciata, Anthrax antecedens, Spogostylum albofasciata
Explanation of Names
Anthrax Scopoli 1763
Greek ανθραξ = 'coal'
38 spp. in our area, ~250 spp. worldwide(1)
6 to 7 mm long.
Head: Black, with dark hair and a few white scales. Eyes large, separated at top of head and indented along hind border.
Antenna: Very low on face, palpi-like; short, black with white ring at end of segment 2. Bristle (arista) short.
Thorax: Black, surrounded with fringe of mixed white and brownish-gray hair.
Wings: Base brown, extending into 2 lobes or blunt points diagonally to about mid-wing on outer (costal) edge. Often with a small dot near last lobe. Rest of wings clear, except one larger dark dot before wing tip. Veins dark.
Legs: Long, very thin, brownish.
Abdomen: Brownish-black with various white scales faintly on segments 1 to 4. Last 3 segments usually entirely white, fading with age.
worldwide, most diverse in Eurasia & Africa; in our area, 11 spp. in the east (of which 4 transcontinental in the north), the rest are western(1)
Late May to early July in the north.
Larvae feed on the larvae of solitary bees and wasps like the Black & Yellow Mud Dauber Sceliphron caementarium and Tachysphex species.
Life Cycle
Females, while hovering, flip eggs into holes of ground nesting bees and wasps. Larvae hatch and find stored food in cells. Apparently adults do not feed. Pupa 15 to 17 mm long, yellowish-brown.
Some species have been reported parasitizing tiger beetles and megachilid bees.

Holotype as Anthrax analis by Macquart, 1834. Type Locality: Georgia. Syntype in the Museum of National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. Note: Name preoccupied.
Holotype as Anthrax antecedens by Walker, 1852. Type Locality: United States. In the British Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Print References
Nearctic species are revised in:
Marston N. (1963) A revision of the Nearctic species of the albofasciatus group of the genus Anthrax Scopoli (Diptera: Bombyliidae). Tech. Bull. Kans. State U. Agric. Exp. Sta. 127: 1–79.
Marston N. (1970) Revision of New World species of Anthrax (Diptera: Bombyliidae), other than the Anthrax albofasciatus group. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 43: 1–148. (Full text: low-resolution | high-resolution)

Histoire Naturelle des Insectes, Dipteres, 1834, Vol. 12 by Macquart, pg. 407.
Dipteres Exotiques Noveauxou Peu Connus, 1840, Vol. 2 Pt. 1 by Macquart, pp. 345-346.
Insecta Saundersiana, 1856, Vol. 1 by Walker, pg. 193.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1894, Vol. 21 by Coquillett, pg. 95.
Illinois State Laboratory Natural History, 1915-17, Vol. 12 Article III by Malloch, pg. 395.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1922, Vol. 48 by Frison, pg. 152.
Colorado State University, 1962, Thesis Marston Anthrax, pg. 102.
Agriculture Experimental Station Kansas State University, 1963, Bulletin #127: A revision of the Nearctic species of the Albofasciatus group of the genus Anthrax by Marston: Not Available.