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Volucella bombylans var. bombylans the Bumble Bee Mimic

  
 
e6filmuser
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Volucella bombylans var. bombylans the Bumble Bee Mimic


Yesterday my wife drew my attention to a very shiny, mostly black "bumble bee" on a flower. It had reddish hairs on its rear end but a close look found the antennae to be short and fine.

This was clearly a hoverfly of the genus Volucella, with the typical face and the comb-like antennae. As it was spending a long time on one or two flowers, and tolerated my close approach, I was able to frame it for several shots but the gusting wind, moving the flowers on their slender stems, limited the usable images. It moved to a more sheltered leaf where I got more shots but not at the angles I would have preferred. Some of these images needed a bit more processing than normal.

I thought the fly had returned to the original flower but it was the bumble bee look-alike (a male Bombus lapidarius). It moved onto bramble flowers, where it seemed to like facing away from me but I got one reasonable shot (last image). The orange fur on the front of the thorax makes it a male.

The stereos are crosseye.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f10, ISO mostly 1600, hand-held.

“The female lays its eggs in the nests of bumblebees and wasps where the larvae feed on debris and occasionally the bee larvae”.

Harold



Harold Gough 2019










Harold Gough 2019





Harold Gough 2019





Harold Gough 2019





Harold Gough 2019




Jun 16, 2019 at 12:41 AM
LordV
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Volucella bombylans var. bombylans the Bumble Bee Mimic


Nice find Harold- the only Volucella species I have not seen.

Brian V.



Jun 16, 2019 at 02:06 AM
e6filmuser
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Volucella bombylans var. bombylans the Bumble Bee Mimic


LordV wrote:
Nice find Harold- the only Volucella species I have not seen.

Brian V.


Thanks, Brian.

I thought it was new to me.

On checking, I find that I have images of the other form var. plumata. I saw it two years ago, almost to the day

Harold



Harold Gough 2019





Harold Gough 2019




Jun 16, 2019 at 02:18 AM







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