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RE: [beemonitoring] Tachnid fly chasing Bumble Bee

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  • 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 1 of 8 , May 13, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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