Arizona Naturalists >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Insects, Spiders, Centepedes and Scorpions >>> Flies, Gnats & Mosquitoes >>> Bee-fly


Paravilla cinerea

a bee fly, Paravilla cinerea,  photo © by Mike Plagens

This beefly was observed in the Colorado Desert, a part of the Sonoran Desert, at Brenda, La Paz Co., Arizona, USA. Apr. 2010. Identification to probable species was made by Andy Calderwood. Many bee fly species have marking on the wings - this ones marking are faint.

Bombyliidae -- Bee-Fly Family

Bee-flies resemble bees for a good reason: it provides these otherwise defenseless insects a measure of protection from insectivorous birds and lizards. These flies do not sting nor do they come to food at picnics nor garbage. As adults they spend a lot of time hovering close to the soil in a bare patch and feeding is generally restricted to nectar from flowers. Some have specialised flower-feeding mouthparts that long and slender - these are not used for biting people. There are many species of bee-flies with a range of biologies, but most are parasitic on ground nesting insects such as bees, beetles and grasshoppers.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010