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3869 Views 6 Replies Last post: Jun 7, 2013 3:43 PM by Drosophila RSS
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Jun 4, 2013 10:22 AM

Bee or bee fly?

There has been an insect in my garden this last day or two, with a very irritating whining buzz.  It is about the size of a bumble bee or a large hover fly, but the sound was nothing like either of these - more like an angry wasp.  The way it moves seems more like a fly to me, but the head didn't quite seem to have a typical fly shape.  Its thorax is brown and very shiny, like a tiny polished chestnut.  I wasn't able to get close enough to get a picture or see much detail as it was very wary and obviously has good eyesight.  The wings were held flat over its back at a slight angle outward from the thorax - again more like a fly perhaps,


Any ideas?  I will try to get a picture if possible.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2013 1:22 PM (in response to Drosophila)
    Re: Bee or bee fly?


    Sounds like a bee-fly. I've caught one yesterday, so they are still out there. google images of Bombylius major and see if you recognise your specimen.



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    Jun 6, 2013 1:54 PM (in response to Drosophila)
    Re: Bee or bee fly?

    I would go for Epistrophe elegans, this species of hoverfly is common in gardens in late spring to early summer and has as you describe a characteristic whining buzz as they hover in mid-air for seemingly no reason.


    That would be my punt - but let’s see if we can get a picture.

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