Yes, you read that right: A cute bug! Well, that is up to debate, but it is definitely not as a gross as other bugs, like that hand-sized spider I had in my house that one time…

Because of the way they hover and their fuzzy bodies, these cute little fellas kind of look like a cross between a hummingbird and a bee. Their long mouth/noses resemble those of a nasty mosquito, but the fact that they are barely 10mm long (approximately the length of the first part of your pinkie finger) and harmless pollinators make them really people-friendly. Join us after the jump as we meet arguably the world’s most affable insect: the Tiger Bee Fly.

▼ Is he cute or what? I kind of want to pet him…


The “bee fly” refers not only to the appearance, but also to how they lay their eggs in the nest of Carpenter Bees, allowing the bee fly babies to hatch and eat the Carpenter Bee babies before maturity (we said they were cute and people-friendly).

▼ Oh, how tiny! …Wait, oh how… huge?!


The bad news is that the Tiger Bee Flies are going extinct! Apparently, less than 100 are identified in one season. While other bee flies populate various areas of Eurasia, this specific type are mainly found in Okayama Prefecture’s Kurashiki, Tamano and Kasaoka Cities, although they have been seen in Kyushu and Kansai.

I think all bugs can be cute, so I’m not the best judge. If you are not a bug fan, what do you think? Are Tiger Bee Flies cute or just as gross as all other bugs?

Source: Matome Naver, Insect Identification
Images: Mutamiya,  Tsurezurenarumamani