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Tiger Bee Fly
Xenox tigrinus

Although everything I’ve read says that these flies don’t bite, I SWEAR they have given me the WORST bites of any insects on my property (except ticks). However maybe I just mis-saw what bit me a few times. Anyway, this bee fly parasitizes the larvae of other insects, specifically Carpenter bees. Which makes sense why I have a lot of BOTH in my garden.

“Female tiger bee flies deposit fertilized eggs in carpenter bee nests. Rather than entering the nest itself, female tiger flies lay eggs near the nest entrance. When the larvae hatch, they consume the carpenter bee larvae. The fly larvae may also wait for the bees to enter the vulnerable pupal state before eating them. The tiger bee fly is the most common parasite of the American carpenter bee, Xylocopa virginica. It is also considered a pollinator.” From Wikipedia

Size: 11mm to 19mm in length
Family: Bombyliidae
Habitat: Near wooded fences, posts, and structures where you find Carpenter Bees
Identification: "Their black body has two white spots on the abdomen and their transparent wings have a distinctive black pattern." 
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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