Sunday, October 24, 2010


I found this fly crawling on my patio yesterday. I thought at first it might be a drone bee, but the face looked too fly-ish. It didn't seem to be able to fly, but I couldn't get it to stop running around, so I picked it up and took pictures of it on my hand, where it couldn't go too far.

I have identified it as a drone fly, Drone fly, Eristalis tenax, an excellent bee mimic, wouldn't you say? This one is a female, I found out. You can tell by her eyes, which are rather far apart compared to the male, whose eyes are bigger and actually touch in the middle at the top of his head.

It looks like her wings are just a bit askew. Maybe that has something to do with why she can't fly.

The coloring and fuzziness look very much like a honeybee. But bees have longer antennas than this. They also have 4 wings, where a fly has just 2, and this fly has no "pollen baskets" on the back legs to carry home pollen. They can still transfer pollen as they pass from flower to flower, they just don't actively collect it.

I put her on my tomato plant, where she continued to crawl all over the place, but I was able to get a good shot of her face. You can see how fly-ish it looks.

And a big thank you to Candy, who explained to me how to post bigger pictures, like she does on her blog.
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