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bristly black fly - Aldrichia ehrmanii

bristly black fly - Aldrichia ehrmanii
near Ailsa Craig, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
May 26, 2004
Size: 8-9 mm
near the same spot on the same day as the other individual and looks similar except for the color.

Moved from Aldrichia.

Hello Robin,
Your fly seems to be in the genus Aldrichia, tribe Conophorini, subfamily Bombyliinae, Family Bombyliidae.

See the key to the genera of Bee Flies in Cole & Schlinger, The Flies of Western North America (UC Press, 1968), pp.225-229. Although Aldrichia is an eastern genus, it was was taken, according to the authors, in the midwestern states of Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas. Aldrichia ehrmannii is described as "about 10mm in length, smoky-winged, with body pile sparse, long, and largely black".

Two species in the genus: A. ehrmannii (distr.: ILL, KS, MI, MO,NJ, NY, OH, PA); A. auripuncta (distr.: NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV). Reference: World Catalog of Bee Flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae), Pt.I. Evenhuis, NL & Greathead, DJ (1999).

Pictorial reference, an image by B. Marlin, see

Above may also help with your image #8910.

I'm fascinated with the seemingly endless diversity in the insect world, and all other life forms. May I recommend a fascinating book, with ample information on recent research into the origin of novelty:

Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Carroll, Sean B. (2005; ISBN 0-393-06016-0).

Wonderful book. Just finished it last week.

Hello Herschel,
you may be similarly drawn into the thought-provoking The Plausibility of Life , by Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart (2005. Yale Univ. Press).

Aldrichia species
Thanks very much, Hartmut. Herschel Raney has a site with good illustrations of body parts and wing venation. My other photo also has the same wing venation and other features, so I moved it and this image from the family page, and added your info and what else I could find to the new genus page.

I couldn't find any records of the genus occurring in Ontario; perhaps this is the first Canadian record (?)

now we have another genus in the Conophorini tribe. As you know, you are (though in Canada) situated right in the middle of three US states from where records exist, at least for ehrmanni. So, this may be a first.

Bee fly
Definitely a bee fly in the family Bombyliidae. Resembles Lepidophora sp., but those usually have a "broken back" appearance.

Glad that I least partially covered my ass! As is apparent, the variation in beeflies is also greater in North America. ;-)


It might well be the same species as the previous one with that difference that the first one is a female and this is a male. Similar differences withinthe family Therevidae are not uncommon.


Stiletto Fly
If that's the case, it may even be that these two were a pair, as I saw them just minutes apart in the same area. I hadn't seen them before and haven't seen any since; will have to check that area again next spring.

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