- Bombylius major Linnaeus, 1758
- Bombylius anonymus Sulzer, 1761
- Bombylivs septimvs Schaeffer, 1769
- Bombylius variegatus De Geer, 1776
- Bombylius aequalis Fabricius, 1781
- Asilus lanigerus Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785
- Bombylius sinuatus Mikan, 1796
- Bombylius fratellus Wiedemann, 1828
- Bombylius consanguineus Macquart, 1840
- Bombylius vicinus Macquart, 1840
- Bombylius albipectus Macquart, 1855
- Bombylius major var. australis Loew, 1855
- Bombylius basilinea Loew, 1855
- Bombylius antenoreus Lioy, 1864
- Bombylius notialis Evenhuis, 1978b
- a long proboscis
- a dark chocolate/brown front margin to the wings that’s 6–12.5mm in length
- wings 9–14mm in length
- long legs
Flowering Plants Visited by Bombylius major in Illinois
(observations are from Robertson, Graenicher, Motten, Macior, Barrett & Helenurm, and Campbell)
Apiaceae: Erigenia bulbosa sn (Rb), Osmorhiza longistylis sn (Rb); Asteraceae: Antennaria neglecta [unsp sn] (Gr), Antennaria plantaginifolia [pist sn] (Rb), Anthemis cotula sn (Gr), Arctium lappa sn (Gr), Rudbeckia hirta sn (Gr), Taraxacum officinale sn (Rb); Boraginaceae: Lithospermum canescens sn fq (Rb), Mertensia virginica sn (Rb); Brassicaceae: Arabis shortii sn (Rb), Cardamine bulbosa sn (Rb), Cardamine douglassii sn (Gr), Dentaria laciniata sn (Rb); Caprifoliaceae: Viburnum prunifolium sn (Rb); Caryophyllaceae: Cerastium nutans sn (Rb), Stellaria pubera fq (Cmp, Mtt); Cornaceae: Cornus canadensis (BH), Cornus florida sn (Rb); Fabaceae: Astragalus crassicarpus trichocalyx sn (Rb), Cercis canadensis sn (Rb), Vicia carolina sn (Gr); Fumariaceae: Dicentra cucullaria sn fq (Rb); Grossulariaceae: Ribes missouriense sn np (Rb); Hydrophyllaceae: Ellisia nyctelea sn (Rb); Liliaceae: Erythronium albidum sn (Rb), Maianthemum canadense fp/exp (BH), Smilacina stellata sn (Rb); Papaveraceae: Sanguinaria canadensis fp/exp fq (Rb, Gr, Mtt); Polemoniaceae: Polemonium reptans sn (Rb); Portulacaceae: Claytonia virginica sn fq (Rb, Gr, Cmp, Mtt), Ranunculaceae: Anemonella thalictroides sn/fp/exp fq (Rb, Mtt), Caltha palustris sn (Gr), Delphinium tricorne sn fq np (Mc), Enemion biternatum fp/exp fq (Rb, Gr), Hepatica acutiloba exp/fp fq (Rb, Gr), Hepatica americana fp fq (Mtt), Ranunculus fascicularis sn (Rb), Ranunculus septentrionalis sn (Rb, Gr); Rosaceae: Amelanchier arborea sn (Rb), Crataegus crus-galli sn (Rb), Crataegus intricata sn (Rb), Crataegus mollis sn (Rb), Prunus americana sn (Rb), Prunus nigra sn (Gr); Salicaceae: Salix amygdaloides [stam sn] (Rb), Salix bebbiana [unsp sn] (Gr), Salix interior [stam sn] (Rb), Salix nigra [stam sn] (Rb); Scrophulariaceae: Collinsia verna sn (Rb); Staphyleaceae: Staphylea trifolia sn (Rb); Violaceae: Viola cucullata sn np (Rb), Viola pubescens sn fq (Rb), Viola sororia fq (Mtt), Viola striata sn np (Rb)
Bombylius major is found in a wide variety of habitats including gardens and the edges of woodlands. Its major requirement is the presence of the host species. Loss of host habitats therefore has a direct impact on the survival of this species.
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bombylius major
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (April 2012)|
The Large Bee-fly, Bombylius major, is a bee mimic. The eggs are flicked by the adult female toward the entrance of the underground nests of solitary bees and wasps. After hatching, the larvae find their way into the nests to feed on the grubs.
The adult is 14 to 18 millimetres (0.55 to 0.71 in) in length, squat and very hairy, with a wingspan of around 24 mm (0.94 in). It has dark patches on the anterior half of the wings and long hairy legs that dangle while in flight. The very long proboscis is used to feed on the nectar of many species of flower, especially primroses. While its wings continue to beat its front legs grip the flower and its long rigid beak is inserted to collect the nectar. Despite its fearsome appearance, the beak is quite harmless.
Bearing a mimetic resemblance to bees their body is stout and furry, with the top of the thorax being black and shiny and the pile either brown, yellow, or white. They have long spindly legs as well as a long rigid proboscis found in the front of the head. Their boldly patterned wings have a distinct dividing border through the horizontal middle between the dark and clear portions. Their antennae are typically very short and pointed. In the field they will be seen hovering and darting above bare ground or flowers, in an up-and-down movement, accompanied by a high-pitched buzz.
Bombylius major has several host species, including beetle larvae and the brood of solitary wasps and bees particularly digging bees such as Andrena. They mimic bees to allow them to get close to the bees burrow. When close, the female will flick the eggs into or near the nests of the host insects. The larvae are hypermetamorphic parasitoids which then feed on the food stored, as well as the young solitary bees or wasps. If the female is unable to flick her eggs near the nest she plants them on flowers visited by the host insects. The developing larvae then make their way to the host nest or attach themselves to the bees or wasps to then be carried to the nest. Although Bombylius major is an excellent pollinator, the larvae limit the population of other pollinators.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bombylius major.|
- Stubbs, A. and Drake, M. (2001). British Soldierflies and Their Allies: A Field Guide to the Larger British Brachycera. British Entomological & Natural History Society. pp. 512 pp. ISBN 1-899935-04-5.
- Insects , Collins Gem , Guide, 1986, page 114, ISBN 0004588185
- Boesi, R., Polidori, C. and Andrietti, F. 2009 — Searching for the Right Target: Oviposition and Feeding Behavior in Bombylius Bee Flies (Diptera:Bombyliidae).Zool. Stud., 48:141-150.
- "Bee Fly - Bombylius major". North American Insects and Spiders. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- "Bee Fly - Bombylius major, Species Information Page". Brickfields Country Park. December 28, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- "BeeFly". Kendall Bioresearch. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- Donald Joyce Borror & Dwight Moore DeLong (1964). An Introduction to the Study of Insects (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- "Species Bombylius major - Greater Bee Fly". BugGuide.Net. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
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