Bumblebee Mimic Hoverfly Volucella bombylans

Volucella bombylans hoverfly male
Volucella bombylans hoverfly female
This hairy mimic of a bumblebee is in fact only a hoverfly - Volucella bombylans. A large hoverfly, it has bee-like, large, hairy legs and orange and white hair. Left above is a male with big eyes close together on the top of his head; right above, nectaring on knapweed, is a female with eyes separated on top of her head.
Volucella bombylans
Volucella bombylans
Volucella bombylans
To mimic different bumblebee species for protection, Volucella bombylans var. plumata above with plumed antennae has a white tail and var. bombylans is black with a red tail.
Volucella bombylans applauding
Applause!
Volucella bombylans
Volucella bombylans
The large size and black markings on the wings help to distinguish this fly from other bee mimics such as the Greater Bulb Fly. The larvae live in nests of bumblebees or social wasps, eating waste and possibly some bee larvae.