Bombylius major


Common Names: Large bee-fly
Category: Insects
Sub-category: Flies


A bee mimic but is actually a kind of fly. The adult is 14 to 18 mm in length, squat and very hairy, with a wingspan of around 24 mm. 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.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings