Morphological Difference between bees and flies

May 14, 2009
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Categories: Bulb Fly, Diseases and Pests

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How do you tell the difference between a fly and a bee? Here are a few differences:

  • Wings: Flies have 2; bees have 4.
  • Antennae: Flies have stubby antennae; bees have long.
  • Eyes: Flies have big compound eyes; bees have simple eyes.

If you see a bee hovering about like a little helicopter, look again. Chances are that this little fellow has only 2 wings, stubby antennae, and big eyes. So, why does he look like a bee? That’s his clever disguise in nature called mimicry. Birds will not eat him for fear of getting stung. You don’t need to worry, however, as these flies do not have a device for stinging ergo they cannot sting. The wing of the Merodon equestris has a  stocking pattern in the center of the back. See this example. http://bugguide.net/node/view/186525

2 responses to “Morphological Difference between bees and flies”

  1. George Dorner says:

    Then, there are the carpenter bees which have infested our cedar siding house in recent years. The U. of Kentucky Ag website says: ” In the late-spring and early summer, homeowners often notice large, black bees hovering around the outside of their homes. … Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.”


    Also, if you look closely you may see the tiny power drills they carry which allow them to drill those perfectly round half-inch holes. I don’t know where they charge the batteries.


  2. Donna Dietsch says:
    They find electric eels, George.
    Donna