Nature's Place

Disguised

P1080586 - Mark Berkery

Tending to the compost bin recently I noticed what looked like a bee come to investigate. It looked and flew like a bee in that its path was cautious, slow and deliberate as it entered the open drum and made its way around inside.

When it stopped on the plastic rim of the entrance I got a few shots and it became apparent it was a fly, by the eyes and other parts, to me.

A bee mimicking fly, must afford it some advantage. Difficult to see past the disguise in motion.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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30 Responses

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  1. Johnc554 said, on 30/08/2014 at 11:25 pm

    All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, to, and why. by James Thurber

  2. Ken Walker said, on 29/08/2014 at 3:03 pm

    Mark’s photo of this fly is so clear that I am able to identify the type of bee this fly is mimicking. It is a halictid bee belonging to the genus “Lipotriches”. Here is an image (much poorer than Mark’s image!) of the type of bee this fly mimics: http://researchdata.museum.vic.gov.au/images/mark.jpg Cheers Ken

    • Mark said, on 29/08/2014 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Ken.

    • Emily Scott said, on 29/08/2014 at 5:51 pm

      Fascinating. This fly is one of the best mimics I’ve seen, the hairy legs and body make it very bee-like.

  3. photoleaper said, on 29/08/2014 at 4:47 am

    Fabulous shot!

  4. krikitarts said, on 29/08/2014 at 12:27 am

    We have a number of yellow & black flies (hoverflies) that mimic bees, spiders that mimic ants, and moths that mimic hummingbirds, but I haven’t seen anything quite like this one before. Beautiful catch!

    • Mark said, on 29/08/2014 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks. It’s fairly common for creatures to disguise … people too.

  5. standingoutinmyfield said, on 29/08/2014 at 12:21 am

    Beautiful! And clever :)

  6. Grower said, on 28/08/2014 at 10:34 pm

    Great shot of the fuzzy beast. Mimicry is fascinating. I once captured a beetle that mimics a bumblebee. It’s genus name was Euphoria.

  7. einfachtilda said, on 28/08/2014 at 9:52 pm

    Ganz tolles Makro ☼ Mathilda

  8. blackice713 said, on 28/08/2014 at 8:31 pm

    Excellent macro shot!!

  9. Alex Jones said, on 28/08/2014 at 8:20 pm

    The mimicry in nature always leaves me stunned, how they do that.

  10. Nature on the Edge said, on 28/08/2014 at 5:22 pm

    Clever… Batesian mimicry. I like that ploy, a critter representing danger…. don’t mess with me, but without the arsenal. Look past the disguise and find a harmless critter :)

  11. yogaguerillagrrl said, on 28/08/2014 at 5:12 pm

    It looks like a cross breed between the two! Those legs are so bee like. I find that the big flies tend to be very slow when it is cold, I killed my first for the season yesterday with a yoga block. ( Om Mani Padme Hum ) It is almost spring here in Victoria, before we know it the filthy flies will be everywhere. What lens are you using for this shot?

    • Mark said, on 29/08/2014 at 3:02 pm

      Bees slow down with cold too. Yoga karate is it ??? Funny, I never noticed the filthy ones … :-)

      The usual FZ and achromats.

  12. Ullis Instamoments said, on 28/08/2014 at 4:15 pm

    Such great macros! Beautiful!

  13. afrenchgarden said, on 28/08/2014 at 3:50 pm

    That is the best disguise I’ve seen in a fly. I don’t think I would have noticed until I looked at the photograph. Amelia

    • Mark said, on 29/08/2014 at 2:58 pm

      Yes Amelia, I didn’t know what to make of it at first.

  14. Ken Walker said, on 28/08/2014 at 3:22 pm

    What a wonderful bee mimic! It belongs to the hoverfly group (Syrphidae) and is the Native-bee-mimic Fly – Eumerus peltatus.

    • Mark said, on 29/08/2014 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Ken. It was in the back of my mind it resembled the flight pattern of the hoverfly.

  15. Jane Lurie said, on 28/08/2014 at 3:10 pm

    Wonderful clarity. Looks like a bee but regardless, this fly is cool looking close-up. Great image.


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