Volucella bombylans
 
Location: Lynx Creek, AB
Date: Aug. 2, 2010
               
       Photo 1

Volucella bombylans

Common Name: 

Latin Name:  Volucella bombylans Linnaeus, 1758
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  11.5 - 15.5 mm

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Meadows, on flowers

Time of year seen:  Summer

Larva's Diet:  Pollen and wasp/bee comb, pupa and larva

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(?))       

 
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