Many members of the family of bee flies (Bombyliidae) resemble bees hence the name. The adult flies feed on nectar and pollen. Some of them are important pollinators. Their larvae however are parasites of other insects.
Today's species belongs to an extremely rare genus and its description was the first of an insect species based solely on high-resolution photographs. It was named after the carpenter bee species (Xylocopa flavicollis) that likely was the model for the mimicry.
For the experts: A new bombyliid species Marleyimyia xylocopae Marshall & Evenhuis, sp. n., an apparent mimic of the carpenter bee Xylocopa flavicollis (De Geer), is described from South Africa on the basis of photographs only. The pros and cons of species descriptions in the absence of preserved type specimens are discussed.