Natural History Photographs

Kleptoparasitic interactions among animals

Diptera: Anthomyiidae

The bee, Andrena barbilabris, returning to its nest from a foraging
flight, carefully watched by a satellite fly, Leucophora spec.

Anthomyiidae is a family of rather drably colored flies. In their larval feeding they show a wide range of habits, including saprophagy, predation, parasitism and kleptoparasitism. Species of the genus Leucophora are kleptoparasites of various bees. Female flies habitually follow foraging bees at a fairly constant distance, as if tethered to the bee, whence these flies are called satellite flies (but the name also applies to some other kleptoparasitic flies with the same habit, such as the Miltogramminae.) Flies of the genus Eustalomyia are kleptoparasites of various Crabronidae, or digger wasps. Knowledge of the hosts of various Anthomyids is still limited. The photos below show a few anthomyiid kleptoparasites with possible hosts.

(Possible) hosts
Leucophora cinerea
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
15 May 2011.
Andrena flavipes
Authority:Panzer, 1799
English:Yellow-legged mining bee
Deutsch:Gewöhnliche Bindensandbiene
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
31 March 2007.
Colletes succinctus
Authority:(Linnaeus, 1758)
English:Heather colletes
Aekingerzand, the Netherlands;
2 August 2008.
Leucophora cf. obtusa
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
8 April 2010.
Andrena fulva
Authority:(Müller, 1766)
English:Tawny mining bee
Deutsch:Fuchsrote Lockensandbiene
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
20 April 2008.
Andrena nitida
Authority:(Müller, 1776)
English:Scarce black mining bee
Deutsch:Glänzende Düstersandbiene
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
8 April 2012.
Leucophora cf. personata
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
15 April 2010.
Andrena barbilabris
Authority:(Kirby, 1802)
English:Sandpit mining bee
Deutsch:Bärtige Sandbiene
AW duinen, the Netherlands;
3 May 2008.
Blaricum, the Netherlands;
26 April 2008.
Eustalomyia hilaris
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
2 June 2007.
Ectemnius spec
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
2 June 2007.
Eustalomyia histrio
AW duinen, the Netherlands;
2 June 2011.
Ectemnius spec
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
17 May 2007.
Eustalomyia vittipes
AW duinen, the Netherlands;
7 May 2011.
Ectemnius spec
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
7 July 2007.