Species of the Month: May 2016

 

Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major

 

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© Peter Sturgess

This slightly odd looking furry fly is a good sign of spring, visiting gardens and green spaces in search of flowers. There are a couple of Bee-fly species in south Wales, but Dark-edged Bee-fly is the most common garden visitor. The other similar species, Dotted Bee-fly Bombylius discolor, lacks the dark front to the wings, and also has a line of white dots on the abdomen (females only). Despite the relatively easy identification needed for Bombylius species, we have just 263 records for Dark-edged Bee-fly and 43 records of Dotted Bee-fly!

There is lots of information about Bee-flies including an identification guide-sheet available from the Soldierflies and Allies Recording Scheme website. There is also a map showing the distribution of 2016 Bee-fly sightings for the whole of the UK on iRecord.

This map on the Data Access Tool shows the distribution of Dark-edged Bee-fly at a 10km square level for the whole of Wales. Zoom in or click on a 10km square to see the 1km square record distribution.

If you spot Dark-edged Bee-fly during May (or see any Bee-fly species at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.