jccurd's picture

Sandhouse Bee Fly

Observed: 6th April 2011 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebrates

Working around the edges of one of my local ponds was this character that I believe to be a Bee-fly. For once, Chinery doesn't say that "there are several similar species" so I'm inclined to think that this might be Bombycilla major. Too bold, I'm sure!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


DavidNotton's picture

somatic mosaic

This insect appears rather odd, one side has the normal colouration, the other side facing away appears light sandy brown, with a clear dividing line. Possibly a bilateral somatic mosaic?


Matt Smith's picture

Body colour

I think the "dark colour" that appears to be on one side of the animal is in fact the underlying cuticle. Where the colour is dark we are looking through the hairs to the body surface, where the hairs appear light we are just looking through the hairs.

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DavidNotton's picture

body colour

Yes I see what you mean, the lighting in this picture has enhanced the effect. Shows what long hair bee flies have.

andyk's picture

Where's the wing pattern?

I've looked, but I can't readily identify any dark pattern on the leading edge of the wing. Is it just me?

Andy Keay

jccurd's picture

Wing Pattern

Andy, I think the wings were beating so fast that the pattern is at best faint and blurred. I think it is just about discernible on the nearer of the wings.


ophrys's picture


"Correcting scientific name...I think Bommbycilla major is some sort of giant Waxwing!"

I meant Bombycilla, of course!



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jccurd's picture

Well ...

... it beats a giant Waxwing. I'm just curious how that came up from the "get recommended". User error, no doubt!

I see you're putting your classical skills to excellent use, Ophrys. My Latin master never had any sense of humour at all. I might have enjoyed it with you. ;-)