Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

To bee or not to bee…

with 14 comments

male-copestylum-tamaulipanum-syrphid-fly-on-snow-on-the-mountain-7173

When is a bee not a bee? When it’s a fly masquerading as a bee and presumably gaining protection against predators that would fear the sting of a real bee. Thanks to Bill Dean, via BugGuide.net, for identifying this syrphid fly as a male Copestylum tamaulipanum. Today’s picture, which is from August 30 along US 183 in Cedar Park, also gives you a pleasant glance back at the flowers of Euphorbia marginata, called snow-on-the-mountain because of its white-margined bracts. For a zoomed-in look at the syrphid fly, click the excerpt below.

male-copestylum-tamaulipanum-syrphid-fly-on-snow-on-the-mountain-7173a

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2016 at 5:00 AM

14 Responses

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  1. I just love that plant!

    Maria Gianna Iannucci

    October 18, 2016 at 8:28 AM

  2. Great lighting and picture. The detail is nice also, I can see the pollen on its leg

    Backyard Photographer Blog

    October 18, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    • Thanks. One advantage to having lots of pixels is that I can offer an overview as well as fine details.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2016 at 10:58 PM

  3. Ah, another flower we share. I enjoy hover flies more than the rest of the diptera family. They are attractive and, as flower flies, helpful in pollination as well as clean living individuals (not that I want them landing on my food, but much better than a blow fly).

    Steve Gingold

    October 19, 2016 at 4:02 AM

  4. The drone fly likes masquerading as a bee too …

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    October 21, 2016 at 2:37 AM

  5. This is a good reminder to assume nothing about a little bee-like creature I photographed in Arkansas. He certainly looked like a bee to me, but it may be that he’s not a bee. That’s yet to be determined.

    shoreacres

    October 21, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    • Even though I know there are flies that look like bees, and even though I’ve read about the general differences between the two kinds of insects, I still often have trouble telling them apart.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2016 at 11:47 PM


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