Dark-edged Bee-fly


Bombylius major – A large fast-hovering fly which looks like a bee. It has a very long needle-like proboscis which it uses to feed from flowers. Double-click on image to enlarge.


Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major

© Peter Hillman ♦ 24th April 2020 ♦ Local woodland margin, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


20 thoughts on “Dark-edged Bee-fly

  1. My first thoughts echo Ellen’s. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such proportionately long legs on a bee or a bee-like fly. But I suppose they help it to get far enough away from the nectar to get full use out of that long proboscis!

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    1. Yes it does have a dark pattern on the wings, Mike, which I didn’t get a chance to see in this instance because it was so busy hovering and feeding!

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      1. I just went over my photos from late March and worked on a photo of what I think might be the same species that I will probably post soon. Most of my references call it a Greater Bee Fly but show the Latin name as Bombylius Major. I think they may just be alternate common names, which seems to happen a lot with insects.

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      2. It used to be called just the Bee Fly here, and then I noticed it had been changed. That’s one good thing about the scientific name they are generally stable globally, but even they can change! I will look forward to seeing your post.

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  2. Never seen these before. Almost alien. Is it a bee? Is a fly? Is it actually neither? Ah, the things that turn up here every time I get a notification.

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    1. Lol! It is a fly that thinks it is a bee, or rather mimics a bee … I know, confuses me, too. I will be posting images of a bee that mimics a wasp soon … crazy stuff 🙂

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