Fuzzy Little Fly

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For the past few days, I’ve been struggling with our satellite internet. Between seemingly wanting to just sit and do nothing, and all of my allowable, free download capacity vanishing in thin air, I’ve not been able to do anything that requires internet for a while! But <fingers crossed!> it appears that things might once again be working as it should.

Today’s post comes from my first, woodland wildflower “shorty” workshop that I held over the weekend. After a wonderful morning of shooting wildflowers with one of my students, we headed towards the car. But before reaching it, my student noticed a rather unique, and small creature that was busy foraging around a small clump of False Rue Anemone … a little Large Bee Fly! I had never noticed any of these at this location before, but we eventually found 2 or 3 of them. Here are a couple of favorite images I captured of this unique little guy:

Large Bee Fly

Here is an uncropped image, showing it’s small size as compared to a False Rue Anemone flower, which is quite small:

Large Bee Fly

And one final image:

Large Bee Fly

The large bee fly is only 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch in size, and covered with lots of dense hairs. This dense hair, making it fuzzy-looking, like a bee, is what gives this creature it’s name. It forages on plant nectar (as shown in these images I captured). The large bee fly larvae is a parasite in nests of solitary bees. The female fly follows a solitary bee female from flower to nest, where it waits for the bee to depart. Once departed, the fly moves in and lays eggs in the bee’s entrance tunnel. The fly larvae feed on the bee larvae, pupate in the nest, and emerge as adults. The large bee fly can hover, almost motionless in the air, making it difficult to see. When it lands, it often lands on either bare soil or plant foliage.

Not a better way to cap off the morning!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/320 sec.



Posted in Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .
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