bee fly(redirected from Bee flies)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , class Insecta, order Diptera.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/