Dotted Bee-fly - Bombylius discolor


Identified by the dark spots at the junctions of wing veins. Body colour: mix of chestnut and black; the female has line of white spots on abdomen. Body length (not including the extended proboscis 8 to 12 mm.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Varied habitats including gardens, grasslands, woodland rides and clearings.

When to see it

Flight time: March to June, most frequent in April.

Life History

Bee-flies in the genus Bombylius lay their eggs into the nests of solitary mining bees. Hosts species include Andrena flavipes and Andrena cineraria.

VC55 Status

Much less common than Bombylius major it is mainly a species of southern England and the south Wales coast, but is now spreading north and was recorded for the first time Leicestershire (VC55) in 2019.

Further Information

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland where it was first recorded in 2019, but may be moving into our area.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map