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Bee Fly

Thevenetimyia sp.

Thevenetimyia bee fly photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed taking nectar from an inflorescence of Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) at Camp Creek in Maricopa Co., Arizona. 25 March 2012. Length is about 7mm.

Bombyliidae -- Bee Fly Family

This delicate and attractive insect leads a double life. In the adult form shown here it is a visitor to flowers where it takes nectar to fuel its egg-laying and mating activities. Whether it is an effective pollinator is unknown - a careful study would be necessary to determine if viable pollen is transported between plants of the same species and is deposited on receptive stigmas.

In its first life, the immature larval stage that preceeds the adult it is a parasitic larva on the larvae a wood-boring beetles. The full details of these flies' life as a parasite is not fully described. Chances are the full life cycle takes a full year and the conditions in a lab study would have to mimic that in the field - temperature, humidity, and food sources for both parasite and host.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 13 September 2012