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Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

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  • Jack Neff
    Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and Sarcophagidae). The sarcophagids that attack solitary
    Message 1 of 8 , May 13, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
      known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
      Sarcophagidae). The sarcophagids that attack solitary
      bees are well known to follow females back to their
      nests.

      best

      Jack Neff
      --- Richard Orr <odonata457@...> wrote:

      > Hi everyone,
      >
      >
      >
      > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
      > Bombus impatiens flying fast
      > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
      > heals (approximate one
      > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
      > first thought was another
      > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
      > pursuer. It was a fly
      > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in Frederick
      > County, Maryland at
      > Cunningham Falls State Park. A photograph of the
      > fly can be found at:
      >
      >
      >
      > http://www.marylandinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
      > impressive looking fly (about
      > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
      > Tachnids are parasitic
      > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
      > behavior of the queen bumble
      > bee was avoidance behavior.
      >
      >
      >
      > I would love to have the following questions
      > answered - if possible.
      >
      >
      >
      > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
      > Bombus? It was the
      > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
      > caught my attention.
      >
      >
      >
      > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
      > send additional photos
      > at different angles if interested or I can send the
      > specimen.
      >
      >
      >
      > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
      > queen? Lay eggs on her?
      > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
      > following her back to the
      > nest?
      >
      >
      >
      > Any answers would be appreciated.
      >
      >
      >
      > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
      >
      >
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      >
      >
      > Richard Orr
      >
      > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
      >
      > 5215 Durham Rd - East
      >
      > Columbia, MD 21044
      >
      > odonata457@...
      >
      > www.marylandinsects.com
      >
      >
      >
      >


      John L. Neff
      Central Texas Melittological Institute
      7307 Running Rope
      Austin,TX 78731 USA
      512-345-7219



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
      (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
      http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265
    • Richard Orr
      Jeff, Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly. Much appreciated. I pretty much went the same web route as you did when I first collected the fly --
      Message 2 of 8 , May 13, 2007
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        Jeff,

         

        Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly.  Much appreciated.

         

        I pretty much went the same web route as you did when I first collected the fly -- and I did my best to try and make it a sarcophagid based on the web information -- but the fly has a completely bare arista and a well developed postscutellum. So it is a Tachinid.

         

        The “A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae” (USDA, 1978) gives three records of Tachinid flies parasitic on Bombus.  For Bombus fervidus a record for Clausicella neomexicana and two records for Bombus species, Lespesia frenchii and a “Tachina” species record.  So Tachinids also have been known to parasitize bumble bees.

         

        Not specializing in Diptera (I am an odonate person) I have been unable to find any other sources of Tachinids parasitizing Bombus.  I tried to key the Tachinid but the only key I have to work from is Cole’s The Flies of Western North America which I crashed and burned on – there are 1277 described species of Tachinids in North America and according to one source it would probably be the largest family of flies in NA if the many undescribed species were included.  

         

        I am still hoping that someone out there can shed some light on my bee chaser just because of its connection to Bombus.

         

        Again, thanks for responding.

         

        Richard Orr

        Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies

        5215 Durham Rd - East

        Columbia, MD 21044

        odonata457@...

        www.marylandinsects.com


        From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
        Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:28 PM
        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

         

        Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
        known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
        Sarcophagidae) . The sarcophagids that attack solitary
        bees are well known to follow females back to their
        nests.

        best

        Jack Neff
        --- Richard Orr <odonata457@comcast. net> wrote:

        > Hi everyone,
        >
        >
        >
        > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
        > Bombus impatiens flying fast
        > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
        > heals (approximate one
        > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
        > first thought was another
        > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
        > pursuer. It was a fly
        > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in
        w:st="on">Frederick
        > County ,
        w:st="on">Maryland at
        > Cunningham
        w:st="on">Falls State Park . A photograph of the
        > fly can be found at:
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.maryland insects.com/ images/Tachinid. JPG
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
        > impressive looking fly (about
        > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
        > Tachnids are parasitic
        > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
        > behavior of the queen bumble
        > bee was avoidance behavior.
        >
        >
        >
        > I would love to have the following questions
        > answered - if possible.
        >
        >
        >
        > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
        > Bombus? It was the
        > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
        > caught my attention.
        >
        >
        >
        > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
        > send additional photos
        > at different angles if interested or I can send the
        > specimen.
        >
        >
        >
        > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
        > queen? Lay eggs on her?
        > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
        > following her back to the
        > nest?
        >
        >
        >
        > Any answers would be appreciated.
        >
        >
        >
        > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
        >
        >
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        >
        >
        > Richard Orr
        >
        > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
        >
        > 5215 Durham
        Rd - East
        >
        > Columbia ,
        w:st="on">MD 21044
        >
        > odonata457@comcast. net
        >
        > www.marylandinsects .com
        >
        >
        >
        >

        John L. Neff
        Central Texas Melittological Institute
        7307 Running Rope
        Austin , TX 78731 USA
        512-345-7219

        ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
        We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
        (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
        http://tv.yahoo. com/collections/ 265

      • Leo Shapiro
        Hi Richard, Your best chance of getting a name for your fly is to e-mail Norm Woodley at the USDA Systematic Entomology Lab/Smithsonian
        Message 3 of 8 , May 14, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Richard,

          Your best chance of getting a name for your fly is to e-mail Norm Woodley at the USDA Systematic Entomology Lab/Smithsonian (Norman.Woodley@..., or old address nwoodley@...) .  He should be able to either ask you for the specimen and identify it himself (at least to genus, probably to species if it's described) or give you the name of the right person to contact. Another person you might try is James O'Hara at Agriculture Canada (oharaj@...).  Good luck...

          Leo Shapiro

          At 10:00 PM 5/13/2007, you wrote:

          Jeff,

           

          Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly.  Much appreciated.

           

          I pretty much went the same web route as you did when I first collected the fly -- and I did my best to try and make it a sarcophagid based on the web information -- but the fly has a completely bare arista and a well developed postscutellum. So it is a Tachinid.

           

          The “A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae” (USDA, 1978) gives three records of Tachinid flies parasitic on Bombus.  For Bombus fervidus a record for Clausicella neomexicana and two records for Bombus species, Lespesia frenchii and a “Tachina” species record.  So Tachinids also have been known to parasitize bumble bees.

           

          Not specializing in Diptera (I am an odonate person) I have been unable to find any other sources of Tachinids parasitizing Bombus.  I tried to key the Tachinid but the only key I have to work from is Cole’s The Flies of Western North America which I crashed and burned on – there are 1277 described species of Tachinids in North America and according to one source it would probably be the largest family of flies in NA if the many undescribed species were included. 

           

          I am still hoping that someone out there can shed some light on my bee chaser just because of its connection to Bombus.

           

          Again, thanks for responding.

           

          Richard Orr

          Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies

          5215 Durham Rd - East

          Columbia, MD 21044

          odonata457@...

          www.marylandinsects.com

          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
          Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:28 PM
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

           

          Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
          known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
          Sarcophagidae). The sarcophagids that attack solitary
          bees are well known to follow females back to their
          nests.

          best

          Jack Neff
          --- Richard Orr <odonata457@... > wrote:

          > Hi everyone,
          >
          >
          >
          > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
          > Bombus impatiens flying fast
          > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
          > heals (approximate one
          > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
          > first thought was another
          > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
          > pursuer. It was a fly
          > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in Frederick
          > County, Maryland at
          > Cunningham Falls State Park. A photograph of the
          > fly can be found at:
          >
          >
          >
          > http://www.marylandinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
          > impressive looking fly (about
          > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
          > Tachnids are parasitic
          > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
          > behavior of the queen bumble
          > bee was avoidance behavior.
          >
          >
          >
          > I would love to have the following questions
          > answered - if possible.
          >
          >
          >
          > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
          > Bombus? It was the
          > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
          > caught my attention.
          >
          >
          >
          > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
          > send additional photos
          > at different angles if interested or I can send the
          > specimen.
          >
          >
          >
          > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
          > queen? Lay eggs on her?
          > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
          > following her back to the
          > nest?
          >
          >
          >
          > Any answers would be appreciated.
          >
          >
          >
          > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
          >
          >
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          >
          >
          > Richard Orr
          >
          > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
          >
          > 5215 Durham Rd - East
          >
          > Columbia, MD 21044
          >
          > odonata457@...
          >
          > www.marylandinsects.com
          >
          >
          >
          >

          John L. Neff
          Central Texas Melittological Institute
          7307 Running Rope
          Austin,TX 78731 USA
          512-345-7219

          __________________________________________________________
          We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
          (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
          http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265

          -------------------------------------------------
          Leo Shapiro
          Department of Biology
          University of Maryland
          1210 Biology/Psychology Building
          College Park, MD 20742

          e-mail:  lshapiro@...
          phone:  (301) 405-0239

        • leifrichardson
          Richard, I was watching a nesting aggregation of Colletes (inequalis is the species, I think) this morning, and spotted a small fly hanging around. The bees
          Message 4 of 8 , May 14, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Richard,
            I was watching a nesting aggregation of Colletes (inequalis is the
            species, I think) this morning, and spotted a small fly hanging
            around. The bees were coming and going with a lot of side-to-side
            flight before diving into their nests. When one bee landed on the
            sand in front of the nest entrance, then entered, this little fly
            hopped off of its pine needle perch and raced across the ground,
            following the bee into her nest. I caught them both when they
            emerged, and would also like an ID for this fly. There were also
            parasitic bees around-- Nomada-- and I imagine this is just the tip
            of the iceberg in terms of what the nest-provisioning bee has to deal
            with while trying to get to and from the flowers without attracting
            enemies.

            Leif Richardson
            Ecologist
            Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage Program
            Department of Fish and Wildlife
            5 Perry Street, Suite 40
            Barre, VT 05641
            (802) 476-0128

            --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Leo Shapiro <lshapiro@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Richard,
            >
            > Your best chance of getting a name for your fly
            > is to e-mail Norm Woodley at the USDA Systematic
            > Entomology Lab/Smithsonian
            > (Norman.Woodley@..., or old address
            > nwoodley@...) . He should be able
            > to either ask you for the specimen and identify
            > it himself (at least to genus, probably to
            > species if it's described) or give you the name
            > of the right person to contact. Another person
            > you might try is James O'Hara at Agriculture
            > Canada (oharaj@...). Good luck...
            >
            > Leo Shapiro
            >
            > At 10:00 PM 5/13/2007, you wrote:
            >
            > >Jeff,
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly. Much
            appreciated.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >I pretty much went the same web route as you did
            > >when I first collected the fly -- and I did my
            > >best to try and make it a sarcophagid based on
            > >the web information -- but the fly has a
            > >completely bare arista and a well developed postscutellum. So it
            is a Tachinid.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >The "A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American
            > >Tachinidae" (USDA, 1978) gives three records of
            > >Tachinid flies parasitic on Bombus. For Bombus
            > >fervidus a record for Clausicella neomexicana
            > >and two records for Bombus species, Lespesia
            > >frenchii and a "Tachina" species record. So
            > >Tachinids also have been known to parasitize bumble bees.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Not specializing in Diptera (I am an odonate
            > >person) I have been unable to find any other
            > >sources of Tachinids parasitizing Bombus. I
            > >tried to key the Tachinid but the only key I
            > >have to work from is Cole's The Flies of Western
            > >North America which I crashed and burned on –
            > >there are 1277 described species of Tachinids in
            > >North America and according to one source it
            > >would probably be the largest family of flies in
            > >NA if the many undescribed species were included.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >I am still hoping that someone out there can
            > >shed some light on my bee chaser just because of its connection to
            Bombus.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Again, thanks for responding.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Richard Orr
            > >
            > >Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
            > >
            > >5215 Durham Rd - East
            > >
            > >Columbia, MD 21044
            > >
            > ><mailto:odonata457@...>odonata457@...
            > >
            > >www.marylandinsects.com
            > >
            > >----------
            > >From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            > >[mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
            > >Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:28 PM
            > >To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            > >Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
            > >known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
            > >Sarcophagidae). The sarcophagids that attack solitary
            > >bees are well known to follow females back to their
            > >nests.
            > >
            > >best
            > >
            > >Jack Neff
            > >--- Richard Orr
            > ><<mailto:odonata457%40comcast.net>odonata457@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > Hi everyone,
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
            > > > Bombus impatiens flying fast
            > > > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
            > > > heals (approximate one
            > > > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
            > > > first thought was another
            > > > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
            > > > pursuer. It was a fly
            > > > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in Frederick
            > > > County, Maryland at
            > > > Cunningham Falls State Park. A photograph of the
            > > > fly can be found at:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            <http://www.marylandinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG>http://www.marylan
            dinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
            > > > impressive looking fly (about
            > > > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
            > > > Tachnids are parasitic
            > > > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
            > > > behavior of the queen bumble
            > > > bee was avoidance behavior.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I would love to have the following questions
            > > > answered - if possible.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
            > > > Bombus? It was the
            > > > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
            > > > caught my attention.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
            > > > send additional photos
            > > > at different angles if interested or I can send the
            > > > specimen.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
            > > > queen? Lay eggs on her?
            > > > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
            > > > following her back to the
            > > > nest?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Any answers would be appreciated.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Thanks,
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Richard Orr
            > > >
            > > > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
            > > >
            > > > 5215 Durham Rd - East
            > > >
            > > > Columbia, MD 21044
            > > >
            > > > <mailto:odonata457%40comcast.net>odonata457@...
            > > >
            > > > www.marylandinsects.com
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >John L. Neff
            > >Central Texas Melittological Institute
            > >7307 Running Rope
            > >Austin,TX 78731 USA
            > >512-345-7219
            > >
            > >__________________________________________________________
            > >We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
            > >(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
            >
            ><http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265>http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/
            265
            > >
            > >
            >
            > -------------------------------------------------
            > Leo Shapiro
            > Department of Biology
            > University of Maryland
            > 1210 Biology/Psychology Building
            > College Park, MD 20742
            >
            > e-mail: lshapiro@...
            > phone: (301) 405-0239
            >
          • Jerry_Freilich@nps.gov
            These postings on the following flies are all very interesting, but I m surprised that the concept is generating the sort of novelty it is. In the world of
            Message 5 of 8 , May 14, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              These postings on the "following" flies are all very interesting, but I'm
              surprised that the concept is generating the sort of novelty it is. In the
              world of sphecid wasps, such "satellite flies" are well known and I thought
              that there is a fairly good literature on them. I suggest using "satellite
              flies" as a search term and see if you don't find a fair number of such
              references.

              JF
              __________________________
              Jerry Freilich, Ph.D.
              Research Coordinator, Olympic National Park
              Coordinator, North Coast & Cascades Research Learning Network
              Olympic National Park
              600 E. Park Ave.
              Port Angeles, WA 98362

              Phone: 360-565-3082
              Fax: 360-565-3070
              Cell: 360-477-3338
              Jerry_Freilich@...

              "This is the most beautiful place on earth,
              there are many such places..."
              Edward Abbey
              ___________________________



              "leifrichardson"
              <Leif.Richardson@s To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              tate.vt.us> cc: (bcc: Jerry Freilich/OLYM/NPS)
              Sent by: Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee
              beemonitoring@yaho
              ogroups.com


              05/14/2007 07:16
              PM GMT
              Please respond to
              beemonitoring





              Richard,
              I was watching a nesting aggregation of Colletes (inequalis is the
              species, I think) this morning, and spotted a small fly hanging
              around. The bees were coming and going with a lot of side-to-side
              flight before diving into their nests. When one bee landed on the
              sand in front of the nest entrance, then entered, this little fly
              hopped off of its pine needle perch and raced across the ground,
              following the bee into her nest. I caught them both when they
              emerged, and would also like an ID for this fly. There were also
              parasitic bees around-- Nomada-- and I imagine this is just the tip
              of the iceberg in terms of what the nest-provisioning bee has to deal
              with while trying to get to and from the flowers without attracting
              enemies.

              Leif Richardson
              Ecologist
              Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage Program
              Department of Fish and Wildlife
              5 Perry Street, Suite 40
              Barre, VT 05641
              (802) 476-0128

              --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Leo Shapiro <lshapiro@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hi Richard,
              >
              > Your best chance of getting a name for your fly
              > is to e-mail Norm Woodley at the USDA Systematic
              > Entomology Lab/Smithsonian
              > (Norman.Woodley@..., or old address
              > nwoodley@...) . He should be able
              > to either ask you for the specimen and identify
              > it himself (at least to genus, probably to
              > species if it's described) or give you the name
              > of the right person to contact. Another person
              > you might try is James O'Hara at Agriculture
              > Canada (oharaj@...). Good luck...
              >
              > Leo Shapiro
              >
              > At 10:00 PM 5/13/2007, you wrote:
              >
              > >Jeff,
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly. Much
              appreciated.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >I pretty much went the same web route as you did
              > >when I first collected the fly -- and I did my
              > >best to try and make it a sarcophagid based on
              > >the web information -- but the fly has a
              > >completely bare arista and a well developed postscutellum. So it
              is a Tachinid.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >The "A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American
              > >Tachinidae" (USDA, 1978) gives three records of
              > >Tachinid flies parasitic on Bombus. For Bombus
              > >fervidus a record for Clausicella neomexicana
              > >and two records for Bombus species, Lespesia
              > >frenchii and a "Tachina" species record. So
              > >Tachinids also have been known to parasitize bumble bees.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Not specializing in Diptera (I am an odonate
              > >person) I have been unable to find any other
              > >sources of Tachinids parasitizing Bombus. I
              > >tried to key the Tachinid but the only key I
              > >have to work from is Cole's The Flies of Western
              > >North America which I crashed and burned on –
              > >there are 1277 described species of Tachinids in
              > >North America and according to one source it
              > >would probably be the largest family of flies in
              > >NA if the many undescribed species were included.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >I am still hoping that someone out there can
              > >shed some light on my bee chaser just because of its connection to
              Bombus.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Again, thanks for responding.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Richard Orr
              > >
              > >Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
              > >
              > >5215 Durham Rd - East
              > >
              > >Columbia, MD 21044
              > >
              > ><mailto:odonata457@...>odonata457@...
              > >
              > >www.marylandinsects.com
              > >
              > >----------
              > >From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              > >[mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
              > >Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:28 PM
              > >To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              > >Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
              > >known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
              > >Sarcophagidae). The sarcophagids that attack solitary
              > >bees are well known to follow females back to their
              > >nests.
              > >
              > >best
              > >
              > >Jack Neff
              > >--- Richard Orr
              > ><<mailto:odonata457%40comcast.net>odonata457@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > > Hi everyone,
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
              > > > Bombus impatiens flying fast
              > > > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
              > > > heals (approximate one
              > > > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
              > > > first thought was another
              > > > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
              > > > pursuer. It was a fly
              > > > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in Frederick
              > > > County, Maryland at
              > > > Cunningham Falls State Park. A photograph of the
              > > > fly can be found at:
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              <http://www.marylandinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG>http://www.marylan
              dinsects.com/images/Tachinid.JPG
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
              > > > impressive looking fly (about
              > > > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
              > > > Tachnids are parasitic
              > > > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
              > > > behavior of the queen bumble
              > > > bee was avoidance behavior.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > I would love to have the following questions
              > > > answered - if possible.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
              > > > Bombus? It was the
              > > > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
              > > > caught my attention.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
              > > > send additional photos
              > > > at different angles if interested or I can send the
              > > > specimen.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
              > > > queen? Lay eggs on her?
              > > > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
              > > > following her back to the
              > > > nest?
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Any answers would be appreciated.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Thanks,
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Richard Orr
              > > >
              > > > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
              > > >
              > > > 5215 Durham Rd - East
              > > >
              > > > Columbia, MD 21044
              > > >
              > > > <mailto:odonata457%40comcast.net>odonata457@...
              > > >
              > > > www.marylandinsects.com
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >John L. Neff
              > >Central Texas Melittological Institute
              > >7307 Running Rope
              > >Austin,TX 78731 USA
              > >512-345-7219
              > >
              > >__________________________________________________________
              > >We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
              > >(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
              >
              ><http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265>http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/
              265
              > >
              > >
              >
              > -------------------------------------------------
              > Leo Shapiro
              > Department of Biology
              > University of Maryland
              > 1210 Biology/Psychology Building
              > College Park, MD 20742
              >
              > e-mail: lshapiro@...
              > phone: (301) 405-0239
              >
            • Richard Orr
              Leo and the beemonitoring group, Norm Woodley identified the fly as a Tachnid belonging to the genus Gonia. Norm went on to state that the genus has not
              Message 6 of 8 , May 15, 2007
              • 0 Attachment

                Leo and the beemonitoring group,

                 

                Norm Woodley identified the fly as a Tachnid belonging to the genus Gonia.  Norm went on to state that the genus has not received any taxonomic research since the 1920s and that species identifications are very problematic.

                 

                This still leaves me with a very big mystery and one that probably can not resolved at this time.  Known host records for Gonia species are Lepidoptera, but then again most of the records are from a single old world species.  I was about to give up trying to find a Bumble Bee/Gonia species connection when I found a strange statement in Cole’s “The Flies of Western North America” on page 574 which reads “As stated by Townsend, it would be impossible for any of the Gonia group to parasitize bumblebees – or any bees, despite the record for Reaumuria (part of the Gonia complex) by Wahlberg.  Neither the bees nor their larvae could swallow the egg of the parasite fly on foliage; possibly a parasitized caterpillar crawled into the nest of the bee.” 

                 

                This indicates to me that Wahlberg did find a Bumble Bee/Gonia species connection.  Unfortunately, no reference to Wahlberg was listed in Cole’s literature cited.

                 

                If I didn’t like mysteries I would have become an ornithologist (don’t tell by birder friends I said that).  Anyway, it is unlikely that I will find out why the fly was chasing the Bumble Bee and why the Bumble Bee was so intent on getting away.  So I will add it to my list of natural history mysteries and move on.

                 

                Many thanks to all those on the beemonitoring group for your help.

                 

                Richard Orr

                Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies

                5215 Durham Rd - East

                Columbia, MD 21044

                odonata457@...

                www.marylandinsects.com


                From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Leo Shapiro
                Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 8:09 AM
                To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

                 

                Hi Richard,

                Your best chance of getting a name for your fly is to e-mail Norm Woodley at the USDA Systematic Entomology Lab/Smithsonian ( Norman. Woodley@ ARS.USDA. GOV , or old address nwoodley@sel. barc.usda. gov ) .  He should be able to either ask you for the specimen and identify it himself (at least to genus, probably to species if it's described) or give you the name of the right person to contact. Another person you might try is James O'Hara at Agriculture Canada (oharaj@agr. gc.ca).  Good luck...

                Leo Shapiro

                At 10:00 PM 5/13/2007, you wrote:

                Jeff,

                 

                Thanks, for trying to hunt down a name for my fly.  Much appreciated.

                 

                I pretty much went the same web route as you did when I first collected the fly -- and I did my best to try and make it a sarcophagid based on the web information -- but the fly has a completely bare arista and a well developed postscutellum. So it is a Tachinid.

                 

                The “A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae” (USDA, 1978) gives three records of Tachinid flies parasitic on Bombus.  For Bombus fervidus a record for Clausicella neomexicana and two records for Bombus species, Lespesia frenchii and a “Tachina” species record.  So Tachinids also have been known to parasitize bumble bees.

                 

                Not specializing in Diptera (I am an odonate person) I have been unable to find any other sources of Tachinids parasitizing Bombus.  I tried to key the Tachinid but the only key I have to work from is Cole’s The Flies of Western North America which I crashed and burned on – there are 1277 described species of Tachinids in North America and according to one source it would probably be the largest family of flies in NA if the many undescribed species were included. 

                 

                I am still hoping that someone out there can shed some light on my bee chaser just because of its connection to Bombus.

                 

                Again, thanks for responding.

                 

                Richard Orr

                Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies

                5215 Durham Rd - East

                Columbia, MD 21044

                odonata457@comcast. net

                www.marylandinsects .com


                From: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com [ mailto:beemonitorin g@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
                Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:28 PM
                To: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

                 

                Sarcophagid flies (which may key to Tachinidae) are
                known to parasitize Bombus nests (google Bombus and
                Sarcophagidae) . The sarcophagids that attack solitary
                bees are well known to follow females back to their
                nests.

                best

                Jack Neff
                --- Richard Orr <odonata457@comcast. net > wrote:

                > Hi everyone,
                >
                >
                >
                > Earlier this month (May 6th) I noticed a queen
                > Bombus impatiens flying fast
                > in a zigzag fashion over an open field. Hot on her
                > heals (approximate one
                > meter or closer) was a much smaller insect that I
                > first thought was another
                > bee. I netted (collected) both the Bombus and her
                > pursuer. It was a fly
                > that keys to Tachnidae. The occurred in Frederick
                > County , Maryland at
                > Cunningham Falls State Park . A photograph of the
                > fly can be found at:
                >
                >
                >
                > http://www.maryland insects.com/ images/Tachinid. JPG
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > The photo is well worth looking at - it is one
                > impressive looking fly (about
                > the size of a house fly or slightly larger). Since
                > Tachnids are parasitic
                > flies, I am assuming that the strange flight
                > behavior of the queen bumble
                > bee was avoidance behavior.
                >
                >
                >
                > I would love to have the following questions
                > answered - if possible.
                >
                >
                >
                > Is avoidance behavior reported in the literature on
                > Bombus? It was the
                > abnormal way the bumble bee was flying that first
                > caught my attention.
                >
                >
                >
                > What is the genus and/or species of the fly? I can
                > send additional photos
                > at different angles if interested or I can send the
                > specimen.
                >
                >
                >
                > What was the fly going to do if he caught up to the
                > queen? Lay eggs on her?
                > Ride her back to the nest? Or was the fly just
                > following her back to the
                > nest?
                >
                >
                >
                > Any answers would be appreciated.
                >
                >
                >
                > I hope all of you are enjoying the spring.
                >
                >
                >
                > Thanks,
                >
                >
                >
                > Richard Orr
                >
                > Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies
                >
                > 5215 Durham Rd - East
                >
                > Columbia , MD 21044
                >
                > odonata457@comcast. net
                >
                > www.marylandinsects .com
                >
                >
                >
                >

                John L. Neff
                Central Texas Melittological Institute
                7307 Running Rope
                Austin , TX 78731 USA
                512-345-7219

                ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
                (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
                http://tv.yahoo. com/collections/ 265

                ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                Leo Shapiro
                Department of Biology
                University of Maryland
                1210 Biology/Psychology Building
                College Park , MD 20742

                e-mail:  lshapiro@umd. edu
                phone:  (301) 405-0239

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