Western False-widow Bee Fly
Short Antenna
Western False-widow Bee Fly
Western False-widow Bee Fly (Pseudopenthes hesperis)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Flies (Diptera)
Family: Bee Fly (Bombyliidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Western False-widow Bee Fly (Pseudopenthes hesperis)
This Photo:     Nose

Thank you Dr Chris Lambkin for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
~10mm long, ~20mm wingspan.
A very interesting bee fly. It has scales on it's abdomen, like moths & butterflies.
It's thorax has a red tinge to it.
Primarily black with white patches on the abdomen & light brown edging to the thorax.
The wing colouring is quite distinctive, and diagnostic; primarily dark with light patches as shown in the photo's.
In profile it's face is shaped like a Nose Fly, protruding forward considerably.
Like some other flies, it has a line separating the top and bottom half of the eye; it's not always discernable needing the right angle to see it.
When discussing our find Chris Lambkin said differentiating "P. hesperis and P. fenestrata is very difficult - generally P. hesperis wing is darker basally near the body, but also the genitalia are different and also the genae (cheeks) are yellow. Of course telling the latter 2 characters from photos is hard if not impossible."
Chris later said "This is a tricky one. We may have a range extension this year with multiple records of the WA species in SA and Vic." For us, this shows the power of Citizen Science; increasing our understanding of not only what, but where our wildlife is.
P. hesperis was more Westerly, while P. fenestrata is known from SA over to the Eastern seaboard.
We have since found a dead specimen & sent it to Chris who has now confirmed the id under a microscope, making a confirmed range extension of this species from WA into SA.

Copyright © 2020-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 26-Feb-2020
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.