A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing

June 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

....Or in this case, a fly in bee's clothing. Mimicry is a common theme in nature, where appearing to be something you aren't can pay big dividends. For this hover fly (also known as a flower fly or syrphid fly), bearing an uncanny resemblance to a bee gives it instant respect and protection from would-be predators.  And not only does the fly look the part, it also plays the part by feeding on nectar and pollen. Closer examination reveals its true identity... Unlike bees and other insects, flies have two wings rather than four. Other clues include short antennae, sucking mouth parts, and a huge pair of eyes that make up most of its head.

Hover Fly Pollinatiing an Alternate-leaved DogwoodHover Fly Pollinatiing an Alternate-leaved DogwoodHover Fly that mimics a bee pollinates an Alternate-leaved Dogwood - Ontario, Canada

Hover Fly Pollinatiing an Alternate-leaved DogwoodHover Fly Pollinatiing an Alternate-leaved DogwoodHover Fly that mimics a wasp pollinates an Alternate-leaved Dogwood - Ontario, Canada This species of hover fly mimics a wasp. To the untrained eye, it's a brilliant and highly convincing disguise. 


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