24 Apr 2019

28 Apr 19 - Dotted Bee Fly

I can still remember being shown my first Bee Fly (or Dark-edged Bee Fly to be more precise) at Farley Mount, Hampshire back in late May 1984. It was an excellent looking Insect. In those days, I was doing a lot of Birding, as well as, looking at Butterflies & Moths when the Birding turned quiet with my good mate John Chainey. More recently I've become aware there are three other species of Bee Flies that occur in the UK: Dotted Bee Fly, Heath Bee Fly and Western Bee Fly. I've only seen Bee Fly and Dotted Bee Fly, but I've normally seen them when I've not had a camera with me. Finally, I was pleased to see a Bee Fly sp. in my garden for the first time on 22 Apr 19. But it had disappeared by the time I grabbed the camera from the house. At the time, I thought it Bee Fly. Just under a week later, I saw another Bee Fly sp. & this time, it was still there when I grabbed the camera. This turned out to be a Dotted Bee Fly. As it was only the second garden record of the genus & only a few days after the initial sighting, then the first sighting had to be downgraded to Bee Fly sp.
Dotted Bee Fly: All four species have this excellent proboscis. The chestnut and black body and the dark spots on the views identify as a Dotted Bee Fly and the line of white spots on the abdomen indicates it's a female
There is an excellent short identification paper on the four Bee Fly species here.