CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bee Fly (Anthrax georgicus)
Diptera. Adults mimic bees, feeding on nectar. Larva is a parasite of tiger beetle larvae.
“Anthrax georgicus lay their eggs at the entrance of larval burrows of 2nd- and 3rd-instar tiger beetles. The fly larvae attach themselves externally, often at the thorax or at the 5th abdominal segment, and slowly feed until the 3rd-instar host approaches maturity. At this point, the Anthrax larva hastens its development, killing and consuming the host. They are considered parasitoids because they do kill their host, whereas true parasites technically dont.”
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera)