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Anthrax anthrax

Anthrax anthrax
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: 2008-05-25
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 100 Macro & Kenko tube
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Dipterans (except Hover flies) of Europe-1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-01-30 3:15
Viewed: 3457
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A while ago at my backyard "Bee hotel":

This Funereal bee-fly (Diptera; Bombyliidae; Anthrax anthrax Schrank; Trauerschweber) tries to flinge some eggs into the entrance hole of Osmia cornuta bee nests by a jerky forward movement of the abdomen. Extraordinary!

The fly begins the process by checking for fresh nest openings. It then lands on the ground and dips its abdomen into sand or sawdust (see picture in the workshop section). The deposited egg is therefore covered with a fine powder. This presumably protects the egg against an attentive host bee. You may notice the dust covered abdominal tip of the hovering fly . A tiny larva crawls out of the shell on the same day and begins its journey inside the bee's nest where it will parasite on the bee larva and maybe the pollen provisions.

On the ID: there are three Antrax species and three similar Hemipenthes species in my region. The site http://home.hccnet.nl/mp.van.veen/bombyliidae/ was of great help. Thanks, Mark van Veen for your careful key to Bombyliids.

aisvash, red45, jpdenk, anel, bikefifty has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Dietrich,
Very nice shot and great focus, very sharp and smooth DOF. Also the title is a good choice.
Best whishes,

nice capture, very useful information. Thanks

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-01-31 2:24]

Hello Dietrich!

Very interesting post. First of all picture is very good with perfectly captured fly in flight. It is sharp, with many details and good light BG. Note is superb with great info about this specie with very interesting behaviour. Another great thing is workshop photo. And last but not least thank you for link to key to Bombyliids. Overall excellent work!

Hello Dietrich,

A good job of catching this little fly in mid-air!An excellent note to go along with it too.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-02-02 1:15]

Lieber Dieter,
Wieder zwei hochinteressante Bilder, die natürlich für den Laien nicht entzifferbar sind, ohne Deine Erklärungen. Ich hätte Dich gerne gesehen, wie Du dem fliegenden Trauerschweber abgepasst hast!
Herzlichen Dank auch für die ID des kleinen Rüsslers. Du hast Recht, die meisten dieser kleinen Kreaturen sassen auf Schwertlilien.
Wir waren alle krank letzte Woche und morgen geht's dann endlich in die Sportferien.
Wünsche noch eine schöne Woche und nochmals ein grosses Danke.


This is very interesting. Your note explains the picture very well.

For me it is always hard to catch something this small in flight with such detail. Very good DOF. Nice job.


  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2009-02-03 23:25]

Bon réflexe pour cette composition bien équilibrée.
Bonne journée.

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