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Can anyone identify this insect for me?
Illuminati
andrewducker


It's about an inch (2cm) long, was flying around our bedroom, and was tough as nails. I have one of these* (basically a tennis racket with a charge running through horizontal wires), and every time I hit it there was a loud crack, a blue flash, and it _still_ kept going for three hits.

If I'm likely to have a whole nest of immortal massive insects in my walls, I'd like as much information on what they might be as possible...

(Only one so far, so it's entirely possible it came in through a window a couple of days ago and snoozed until five minutes ago. I'm certainly hoping so!)


*The reviews are awesome. People clearly get the urge to kill after getting one.



Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

I could be totally wrong but it does look very much like a honey bee (they grow to be about 2cm long)

Could be. But I'd have expected more yellow on a honey bee. Not that I'm an expert.

I am currently assuming "bee of some kind". Hopefully not "bee of some kind that has nested in our goddamn walls."

Honey bees are a wee bit different to other bees in that they're 'darker' on the body (so it can be like an orangey colour rather than yellow).
I'm not sure what the weather is like over there - I've been told it's raining a bit, and if so it could be a case that the bee has been looking for shelter and has somehow got into the warmth and dry of your bedroom.

I concur. Big fucker for a honey bee but it looks (from that rather indistinct photie) like a honey bee to me.

Yeah, that looks like it to me.

Photo taken under bad lighting, with my phone, while not wanting to get any closer, because the fucker was still twitching even after I held the electrocutioner against it for three seconds, and I wasn't taking any chances. I finished it off properly after that, and felt horribly guilty about doing so. I hate killing things.

On the upside, if it is a honey bee, and you have a hive in your walls, you will find local bee keepers will be more than happy to take it off your hands and it won't cost you an opinion.

Yep, definitely looks like a honey bee

:( I feel all sad now!

Originally we thought it was a blue bottle. We had about 3 of them two weeks ago, and had great trouble getting them outside again (which is where the electric racket came from). It was only when it was half dead that we realised it wasn't.

I think you're probably right, and I feel itchy all over looking at bees and larvae and teenege larvae!

I hate bluebottles, the bastards seem to have a tendency to hide on you so you think that you managed to shoo it out the window, and then they show up again!

Hopefully it is just a case that the bee was looking for a warm/dry home for the evening.

I thought bee too. I hope you don't have too much pain from the sting!

It didn't get anywhere near close enough to sting me. I do itch all over though!

Are you allergic to bees? I keep thinking there is another kind of insect that looks like a bee but isn't. However that could totally be my imagination playing tricks on me as I have been stung by various different insects at various different times in my life.

Thankfully I'm not allergic. At least, not so far as I know. I hope to keep my lack of knowing intact as long as possible!

The Hoverfly is wasp/bee like, from a distance. We used to have them nearby when I was a kid:
http://www.cosplay.com/showpost.php?p=4084550&postcount=21844

Hmm.... That might have stung me when I was younger. Hmm....

For killing insects, my father uses gasoline he sprays from a can. No kidding. It works really well. I use my environmentally safe cleansers which weighs down the bug and/or chokes it and then I squash it. Ok, I admit, I really don't like bugs.

Hoverflies don't have a sting as far as I remember.

You're pretty lucky having got three hits in on a honey bee without it taking it out on you. They're not inclined to sting you if you leave them alone but once you get in their face they can be really ratty! It must've been sluggish.

Turned out not to be one, thankfully - a handy science person identified it for me!
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/23901

I suspect it would have been half knocked out by the first hit though - the crack sound from the charge was rather startling!

I'm pretty certain that's a honey bee. And yes, they are pretty damn tough. With the current weather, it could have come in through a vent perhaps.

Concur. Honey bee is my educated guess.

*Bad* Mr & Mrs D for killing it. :¬( Bees are our friends!

Def a honey bee from the photo, could be a Black Irish bee, they are as tough as old boots. My father had a hive of them, they made mincemeat out of attacking wasps.

It's a DEAD insect, DR.

Dammit, now I have to dig out my trade paperback!

Mind the oranges, Marlon!

There's a website that exists precisely to help with this sort of question: iSpot.org.uk

You post your photo, with where you saw it (obfuscating a bit is fine) and when, and post a tentative identification if you have one. Then a friendly bunch of experts and knowledgeable amateurs can either confirm your ID, or give a more accurate one, or tell you that it's impossible to tell which species it is from the photo but it's probably X, Y or Z.

It's really cool.

(Disclaimer: I am academic lead for the technical development of the site as part of my day job, so may not be entirely unbiased.)

Aaah, at the suggestion of Dave Godfrey over on DW I posted here:
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/community/identification?fromGateway=true

I'll give your one a go too!

Aaaand, I got a reply identifying it as Eristalis, not a bee at all!

Oh, just got here, woops - how interesting! I had no idea there was a mock honeybee species.

ahh, I was going to say I thought it was a hoverfly, not a bee! Its eyes take up too much of its head, I think, and its antennae are a bit too stubby. This is only because I was looking up how to distinguish hoverflies yesterday morning, though...

Did it hover any when it was flying?

If so, then it's a hover fly. If not, then I agree with others, probably a wild bee.

I'd go with hover fly, bee as second choice. Hover flies are big tough fuckers.

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