Something a little unusual in this morning’s garden. This is a “Bee Fly” and possibly Exoprosopa decora … the Progressive Bee Fly.
To quote from the internet – a member of the Bombyliidae which is a family of flies (diptera) comprising hundreds of genera, but the life cycles of most species are known poorly, or not at all. There are at least 4,500 described species, and certainly thousands more remain to be described. However, most species do not often appear in abundance, and compared to other major groups of pollinators they are much less likely to visit flowering plants in urban parks or suburban gardens. As a result, this is arguably one of the most poorly known families of insects relative to its species richness. The larval stages are predators or parasitoids of the eggs and larvae of other insects. The adult females usually deposit eggs in the vicinity of possible hosts, quite often in the burrows of beetles or wasps/solitary bees. Although insect parasitoids usually are fairly host-specific, often highly host-specific, some Bombyliidae are opportunistic and will attack a variety of hosts.
How do I know it might be Exoprosopa decora? The field mark to look for is that the wings are mostly black with a clear spot at the tip and a clear “snoopy-shaped spot” near the middle. Spot on!!
So, another pollinator species abut pretty unusual in gardens … and I had two, so the gods were smiling.
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