It may look like a bumble bee with painted wings, or hefty mosquito, but the Tiger Bee Fly is simply a large fly.
The widespread Tiger Bee Fly has a long proboscis that could make it easy to mistake for a mosquito. Its large size and fuzzy body could also lead one into thinking it is a bee, but this exotic looking insect is, in fact, a mere fly. It does not take blood meals nor does it sting. In fact, the adult drinks flower nectar with its proboscis, much like a butterfly. The black body has two white spots on the abdomen. The black pattern on the otherwise transparent wings may have resembled tiger stripes just enough to use 'tiger' in its name. Its name is the most menacing thing about the adult.
The larvae, however, are parasites and are more ferocious. 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 visits these holes and, if eggs are already in them, it adds its own to the lot. The Tiger Bee Fly larvae hatch and then consume the living Carpenter Bee larvae before the bees can mature enough to escape.
Scientific Name: Xenox tigrinus
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.74in)
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