|Bee Fly - Lepidophora lepidocera|
Family Bombyliidae-Bee Flies. Commonly called Scaly Bee Fly
Live adult flies photographed in the wild at various North American locations.
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I LOVE this fly. I've only seen a couple of times. Now I'm out in the field photographing blister beetles, and along comes this Lepidophora, and decides he/she wants to bask in the sun on my shirt. Or my pants. Or my fingers or arms, you name it. What fun! Except some of those little bastard stable flies that like to bite your ankles decided to bite my ankles while I was holding my breath trying not to scare this absolutely strange and beautiful creature.
Bee flies get their common and scientific names from their resemblance to several different species of bees. However, if you look closely you can tell they have only one pair of wings, and their antennae are entirely wrong for a bee. Unlike bumblebees, they're fast - really fast and agile, with great ability to hover, like syrphid flies.
Flies of North America - Order Diptera. Flies are prevalent in virtually all habitats, with over 16,000 species in North America. Flies can be distinguished from all other insects in that they only have one pair of normal wings. The other pair has evolved into small ball-like structures called halteres, thought to be used as stabilizing organs during flight. Most flies have compound eyes and mouthparts adapted for piercing, lapping or sucking fluids.
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