bee fly

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bee fly,

name for the small- to medium-sized fliesfly,
name commonly used for any of a variety of winged insects, but properly restricted to members of the order Diptera, the true flies, which includes the housefly, gnat, midge, mosquito, and tsetse fly.
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 of the family Bombyliidae, many of which resemble bees in appearance and behavior. This mimicrymimicry,
in biology, the advantageous resemblance of one species to another, often unrelated, species or to a feature of its own environment. (When the latter results from pigmentation it is classed as protective coloration.
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 provides bee flies with some measure of protection against predators that have learned to avoid the sting of true bees. A bee fly has a stout, hairy body and long proboscis. In many species the body and wings are strikingly marked in yellow and brown. Most are very swift fliers and buzz loudly like a bee if caught in a net. They seek heat and are often found flying close to the ground in dry, sandy regions. The adults feed on nectar and hover above flowers like bees. The larvae feed on larvae or pupae of other insects; they are beneficial as parasites of harmful species. Beelike flies are also found in other families. The syrphid flies (family Syrphidae), also called hover flies and flower flies, are a large, cosmopolitan group of beelike and wasplike flies. Many syrphid flies bear a very close resemblance to a particular bee or wasp species. Many of the robber flies (family Asilidae) resemble bumblebees. All of these are true flies; they are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Diptera.
References in periodicals archive ?
And he explained the queen bee flies the nest once a new queen hatches from the egg it has laid.
At that time, Evenhuis was studying a group of so-called bee flies and had found several new species, most in the genus Phthiria.
After the mother bee flies off, the beetle larvae raid the bee's baby food and assume a grublike form, finally pupating into wingless adults.