Volucella bombylans Linnaeus, 1758
(R. Bercha, det.)
Length: 11.5 - 15.5 mm
Range: Throughout Alberta
Meadows, on flowers
Time of year seen: Summer
Larva's Diet: Pollen and wasp/bee comb, pupa and
Other: The larvae of this fly are found in bee and wasp nests where
they are usually scavengers. They consume a variety of material
including: pollen and comb material and in some cases the pupa and larva.
The adult female flies secrete a camouflaging scent that tricks the wasp and
bees into not attacking them so they can enter the nest and lay eggs.
The coloration of these flies is variable making then excellent bumblebee
mimics. Note the
plumose arista. (Marshall, 2006 & Skevington et al, 2010(?))