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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Genus Bombylius

bee fly hovering - Bombylius major - male Bombylius - Bombylius aurifer - male Bee Fly - Bombylius major Mystery bug - Bombylius major Bombylius - Bombylius atriceps Is this a bee? - Bombylius Bombylius major Bombyliidae - Bombylius
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 Bombyliinae
Tribe Bombyliini
Genus Bombylius
Other Common Names
Large Bee Flies
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
=Parabombylius Williston (valid subgenus)
Explanation of Names
Bombylius Linnaeus 1758
3 subgenera, with ~80 spp. in our area and ~280 spp. worldwide(1)
7-12 mm
medium-sized, very hairy; proboscis long
worldwide except Australasia, but 90% of spp. in the Holarctic Region; in our area, throughout NA but much more diverse in the southwest(1)
Meadows, woodlands
Spring to early summer
Adult takes nectar. Larvae feed on the larvae and supplies of bees, particularly Andrena, Colletes, and Halictus
Life Cycle
Larvae are parasitoids of solitary bees. Female follows bee from flower to nest, then lays egg in entrance tunnel. (Females are also seen hovering over open, sandy, ground, and they are presumably looking for nests.) Fly larvae feed on the larvae of the bees, pupate in the bee nest, and emerge in spring or early summer.
See Also