Bombylius    



common name     Bee Flies

habitat
Arid regions with loose soil of the type frequented by ground-nesting bees.

seasonality
Adults have been collected from late April to mid-June.

identification
Brightly colored, hairy flies, varying from small (wing span 12-14 mm) to large (wingspan 40-50 mm). Proboscis long. Wings with dark markings.

life history
The general bombyliid life cycle is described in Marshall (2006). Females coat eggs with a sticky substance in order to gather a protective layer of soil when they are dropped into burrows of potential hosts. First instar larvae actively penetrate host nests, then molt into sedentary ectoparasitoids, a phenomenon known as hypermetamorphosis. Pupae are equipped with rigid ornamentation to assist escape from the burrow. Adults resemble bees as a deterrent against predators, and imitate them behaviourally and functionally by feeding on nectar and spreading pollen.

conservation
No specific information found. It can be assumed that as parasitoids, the success of the species is dependent on the success of the host or hosts.

diet info
Larvae are parasitoids and adults feed on nectar (Hull 1973).

range
Nearctic (Hall & Evenhuis 1980, Evenhuis & Greathead 1999).

notes
Six species are recorded from Alberta.

people
genus page authorMaxwell, C.2006 

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=27688

 

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