Villa modesta


Villa modesta male.

Villa modesta is a bee fly (Bombyliidae) inhabiting coastal sand dunes. The egg laying behaviour is typical for a bee fly. The females are shooting eggs into dark places. Every now and then females are rubbing their abdomen in the sand in a characteristic way with moving wings. Probably they are filling the sand-chamber with sand on these occasions. A picture taken during this behaviour is given here.


The sand filling behaviour has been filmed. An animation has been derived from this film (2X retarded) :


After filling the sand chamber the eggs are shot. An animation (6 times retarded) of this behaviour, filmed from above, is to be found here.


An other example (10X retarded) :

This behaviour has also been found with Bombylius major, Anthrax anthrax and Thyridanthrax fenestratus.

Male behaviour

Males may be found waiting for females, but may also search for females in the vegetation. Males may also courtship behaviour. A male has been observed hovering above a female for 10 seconds. The male is moving forward and backward over a short distance. An animation of this behaviour 10X retarded, is given here. The female is sitting in the lower right part of the picture.


Habitat of Villa modesta (Egmond aan Zee)





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