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(the bee flies), a family of dipterous insects of the suborder Brachycera. The body measures about 10 mm long. The wings are long; the legs are long and thin. Many Bombyliidae have a long proboscis. There are about 3,000 species; they are distributed mainly in the arid tropics and subtropics. In the USSR the Bombyliidae are especially numerous in Middle Asia. They fly well; they frequently hover over flowers and suck the nectar. The development of most Bombyliidae is characterized by hyper metamorphosis; the larvae are mobile as soon as they are hatched from the egg. The Bombyliidae mostly parasitize insects. They infest the egg sacs of the Acrididae (Systoechus, Anastoechus) and parasitize moth caterpillars or Ichneumonidae larvae. Bombylius larvae live in the nests of solitary bees.