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  • Tiger Bee Fly - (Xenox tigrinus)

    Tiger Bee Fly - (Xenox tigrinus)

    It may look like a black bumble bee or mosquito, but the Tiger Bee Fly is simply a large fly.

    Staff Writer (8/24/2017): The widespread Tiger Bee Fly has a long proboscis that could make it easy to mistake for a mosquito. The large size and fuzzy body may lead one into thinking it is a bee. Alas, this exotic looking insect is a mere fly. It does not take blood meals or sting. In fact, the large wildly patterned adult drinks flower nectar with its proboscis. The black pattern on the otherwise transparent wings may have resembled tiger stripes enough to use the feline in its name. That name is the most menacing feature for the adult.

    The larvae, however, are parasites and perhaps act more like its namesake. Female Tiger Bee Flies lay their fertilized eggs in the nest of Carpenter Bees. Carpenter Bee females usually bore perfectly round holes into wooden fence posts or beams to lay their eggs. The Tiger Bee Fly will visit these and, if eggs are already in them, it will add its own to the mix. The Tiger Bee Fly larvae will hatch and then consume the living Carpenter Bee larvae before they can mature enough to fly away.

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    Details of the:
    Tiger Bee Fly

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Tiger Bee Fly
    Scientific Name: Xenox tigrinus

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Bombyliidae
           Genus: Xenox
            Species: tigrinus

    Size (Adult, Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.75in)

    Identifying Colors: black, white

    Additional Descriptors: spotted, flying, large, fuzzy, hairy, mosquito

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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