grasshopper bee fly

(Systoechus vulgaris)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

grasshopper bee fly

 

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Flight/Season

 

Habitat

 

Size

Total Length: 3 16 to (5 to 10 mm)

          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

Grasshopper bee fly is a small, stout-bodied, bee fly. It occurs across North America from Massachusetts to Oregon and south to Arizona and Georgia. It is especially common in the Great Plains, where it is the most common bee fly.

Adults are 3 16 to (5 to 10 mm) long, including the pile (hairs) but not including the elongated mouthpart (proboscis). The body is black but is densely covered with long, pale yellow to dark yellow hairs. It is curved when viewed from the side.

The head and the first segment of the thorax are directed downward. The face is covered with abundant long black hairs and fewer yellow hairs that are only half as long as the black ones. The hairs around the simple eyes (ocelli) are black. On the female, the hairs around the mouthparts are often two times as long as the second antennal segment. The antennae have three segments. The third segment is not divided by rings (annulated).

The small, knob-like structures on each side of the thorax (halteres) are yellow. The wings are clear and may have a yellowish tint. The veins are yellow or brown. The radius median cross-vein is near the base of the discal cell.

The legs are long, slender, and mostly rusty yellow. On the male, the first segment (coxa) and the base of the third segment (femur) are dark. On the female, only the coxa is dark. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has three segments. The last segment has three pads at the end. On both sexes, the tarsus is brown to black. The spines on the legs are yellow. The spines on the tarsus are brown to black.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Grasshopper egg pods

 
Adult Food

The wings are held spread out when a rest.

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

They usually do not land on flowers but hover over them, making these insects especially difficult to photograph.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)

 

Suborder:

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)

 

Infraorder:

Muscomorpha

 

Superfamily:

Asiloidea

 

Family:

Bombyliidae (bee flies)

 

Subfamily:

Bombyliinae

 

Tribe:

Bombyliini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

common bee fly

grasshopper bee fly


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Halteres

In flies: a pair of knob-like structures on the thorax representing hind wings that are used for balance.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Alfredo Colon


  grasshopper bee fly   grasshopper bee fly
       
  grasshopper bee fly   grasshopper bee fly

       
       
       

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Alfredo Colon
7/23/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

grasshopper bee fly


     
     
 

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