Jul 032008

A tiger bee fly (Xenox tigrinus) came to visit me just outside my office on Tuesday (thanks to the fantastic resource What’s That Bug? for the identification). She was definitely striking, but a little imposing-looking, and though I couldn’t see any fly-typical bladelike mouth parts, I kept my distance until I knew what she was.

(I don’t like big biting flies. Bees and wasps leave you alone if you leave them alone. Big biting flies slice you open to eat, so you can just be minding your own business and get it, and it hurts.)

After I knew she ate nectar and not blood, I went outside to look again, and was hoping to get a photo. She was where I left her, but I startled her when I walked up, and she landed right on my right leg! Unfortunately, my camera was in that pocket (doh! get it out before you go out), and I couldn’t retrieve it carefully enough to avoid her flying away.

Still, it was cool. I considered blogging about the encounter anyway, but decided it would be lame without a photo, so I didn’t.

Well, she came back today and posed for me! She’s about an inch long, and a beautiful blue-black that the photo doesn’t capture well:

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 Posted by at 6:06 pm

  6 Responses to “A visit (or two) from a tiger bee fly”

  1. We’ve got these things in the marshy areas around the ocean called greenheads and I swear to GODDESS that the fuckers actually CHEW on you:


  2. Yipes!

    The biggie around here is the black horse fly. Those bitches are majestic, silent, and packin’ the misery, baby. (And of course we have several species of mosquitoes, which are technically biting flies.) We’re spared black flies; I understand they’re you’re state bird. 🙂

  3. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.

  4. Why did she swallow a fly?

  5. Thanks for leaving me hanging there, Charles… 😉

  6. Lea, if she swallowed any of THESE flies, there’s no “perhaps” in the question of her dying.

    I believe that the mosquito is our state bird. The black fly is the mascot of the state above us, and I JUST heard on NPR that the black fly population is INCREASING and staying around longer in the season, which bug-scientists (they’re called entomologists, dontcha know) say is a GOOD thing; it means our environment is healthier. I’m not sure that people are happy about that, though…

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