On a recent “macro-ing” trip to Mt. Lemmon my friend and I encountered this unique-looking creature, which is a fly, not a bee. We spent a long time following this little guy from plant to plant trying to photograph him as he went about his business.
This particular fly with the orange body and stiff protruding black hairs is a Tachinid Fly, which is parasitoid. They deposit their eggs on their host and feed internally after burrowing in, or they deposit them on the leaves that will then be eaten by the host. In either case, the host usually dies. Caterpillars are the main “pest” victim, but they also kill scarab and leaf beetles, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and crickets.
This image was done with a Canon 60mm macro lens (hand-held) at 1/60 second and f5.0 with sensitivity set to ISO 200.
Image copyrighted. Any and all use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.