Most of us can tell a bee from a fly, can’t we? We all have an idea about what each of them looks like: a fly is small and shiny; … Continue Reading Polymorphic mimics: flies that look like bumblebees
It was a hot day in northern Thailand when spotted an attractive Red Lacewing butterfly and started following it, hoping it would settle down so that I could get some … Continue Reading Fighting over a dead frog!
If like me, you like wandering around sand dunes – perhaps whilst you are on holiday by the seaside – keep an eye out for sand wasps. In particular, digger … Continue Reading Little diggers – Bembix sand wasps
I came across a dead mole as I was walking along a logging tract in a pine forest in Galicia, northern Spain. It looked as though it had only just … Continue Reading Decomposition of a mole
These remarkable flies, known as Thick-headed Flies (Conopidae), are larval parasitoids of bees and wasps. Females of this species, Conops quadrifasciatus, attack bumblebees in flight, which has earned them the name ‘bee-grabbers’. Apparently, … Continue Reading Canoodling bee-grabbers
The Black-rimmed snout hoverfly, Rhingia campestris Meigen, 1822 (Diptera: Syrphidae) is a common and widespread fly which is often seen visiting flowers or resting on nearby vegetation. The larvae live … Continue Reading Black-rimmed snout hoverfly: the Heineken Fly!
I always enjoy seeing bombyliids (bee-flies). They sound like little helicopters, hovering and buzzing about, and their furry appearance gives them a certain cuteness. They are flies pretending to be … Continue Reading Bee-flies: the dipteran narwhals
The Yellow-faced fly or giant tachinid fly, Tachina grossa, is the largest European tachinid fly, between 1.5 and 2 cm in length. It is widespread in Europe, including the British Isles and … Continue Reading Tachina grossa – a big black fly!