Bee Fly

A picture of a Bee Fly
Photo by:
John Pontier/
Animals Animals or Earth Scenes
Bee Fly, common name for any member of a family of flies, many species of which resemble bees in general appearance (an example of protective mimicry). In general, bee flies have large abdomens with thickset hairs that may be yellow, orange, white, black, or any combination of these colors. The wings are transparent or may have spots of black in patterns peculiar to each species. Adult bee flies live on nectar and pollen and are sometimes important pollinators of plants. The larvae are parasitic on other insects. The bomber fly, for example, parasitizes the alkali bee, an important pollinator of seed alfalfa.

Scientific classification: Bee flies make up the family Bombyliidae, in the suborder Brachycera. The bomber fly is classified as Heterostylum robustum.

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