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Bombylius major

Bombylius major
Photo Information
Copyright: Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-04-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 100 Macro & Kenko tube
Exposure: f/19, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Dipterans (except Hover flies) of Europe-1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-04-08 12:00
Viewed: 3440
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Better known backyard visitors:

In early spring I expect the visit of at least three different species of Bee flies because of the abundantly flowering Primula elatior in the yard. The Large bee fly (Diptera; Bombyliidae; Bombylius major L.; Grosser Hummelschweber) is one of them. I show another, bigger species (B. discolor) in the workshop area. I had a third species, Systoecus sulphureus, presented before.

There is an excellent key for the Bombylids of Northern Europe on the net: http://home.hccnet.nl/mp.van.veen/bombyliidae/index.html.
For the above species you notice the dark markings and the clear borders of the markings on the wing that gives the species away. It is 12-14 mm long. Why Gonzo? Well, the snout and the juxtaposed eyeballs remind me of the Muppet character. The difference is that the bee fly never blows its acrobatic acts like Gonzo did, it is truly one of the flying wonders.

Heaven, flashpoint, crs, BobH, Alex99, jpdenk, cicindela has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Heaven: Unglaublichmeyerd 1 04-08 13:24
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Critiques [Translate]

bonjour dietrich
la netteté est vraiment tres bonne sur ce bombyle qui s'ais se faire tres discret sur sa feuille morte.
beau coup d'eoil.

hello Dietrich
this is GREAT
so sharpness and good details
beautiful picture
greeting lou

Hallo Dieter!

Ich bin fasziniert von diesem Bild. Einerseits gefällt mir das wunderbare Insekt, das ich bisher nicht kannte, besonders gut. Der lange Stachel, wenn dies der richtige Ausdruck ist, ist beeindruckend. Anderseits gefällt das Bild durch die einheitliche Farbgebung. Es würde meiner Ansicht nach noch an Stärke gewinnen, wenn ausschliesslich nur Brauntöne vorhanden wären.

As liebs Grüessli


ciao Dieter!
impressionante la definizione nella cattura di questo Bombylius,
e davvero bravo perche' sei riuscito a ritrarlo cosi' bene fermo a terra,
conoscendo il suo frenetico volo.

complimenti sERGIO


I saw this amazing insect yesterday during walk in the forest, looks amazing when flying and collecting nectar. Goot sharp shot, very nice light and natural colours.
Thanks for sharing this nice photo.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-04-08 21:55]

Hello Dietrich
Interesting capture with great details.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-04-08 22:09]

Hello Dietrich,

Your close-up is very good! The well adapted DOF allowed you to keep the whole insect in focus. Therefore excel;ent details of the heary body, wings and head can be observed. The light has been very well used so thate you got very fine, naturaly looking colors.

Thank you for sharing,

Una excelente realización técnica Dietrich !!

Gran precisión en el enfoque con una más que sobrada profundidad que nos muestra una limpia imagen con sorprendentes detalles debido a la gran ampliación, que sobrepasa la microfotografía.

Buen trabajo técnico y artístico.

Saludos: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • BobH Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
  • [2009-04-09 8:42]

Hi Dietrich-

Beautifully detailed shot of an intriguing insect. After spending several years in academia working right next to entomologists, I should know more about all those bugs, but bee flies are new to me. I especially like the slight bit of leaf visible at the very top through the translucent part of the wing. Very nice.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-04-09 9:42]

Hi Dietrich.
It is absolutely outstanding macro shot. It is a true dream for every macro photographer. Terrific sharpness and details of the fly and leaf, which serves as stage for this cute insect. Diagonal composition of the shot is also sweet. My congratulations and TFS.

Hi Dietrich
Beautiful sharp image of this great fly. Good natural colors, great field guide POV. I also like the note and WS shots as a special bonus

Hello Dietrich,

You've managed to get almost the whole insect in good focus, not an easy feat with that lens! A very attractive image with excellent technical qualities, as is usual from you. Good use of flash, no harsh shadows. Did you diffuse the flash?


Hello Dietrich,
Excellents posts, very interesting and very sharp. Useful note and link too. Thank to you, I found the ID of one of mine. Best regards,

Hehehe! This is the treu Gonzo! Funny title and perfect quality! Interesting is that you met this specimen not on the flower but on the dead leaves.
Greetings from Lodz,

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