The genus Balaana, from the family Bombyliidae, are a group of flies known commonly as “Bee flies”, and in this instance the Balaana Beefly. At time of writing, there are seven described species in this genus Balaana. They have a body length of between 10-18 mm.

The bee fly pictured here is the species Balaana abscondita, similar to the species Balaana gigantea.

Balaana Beefly (Balaana abscondita), Alice Springs, NT
Balaana Beefly (Balaana abscondita), Alice Springs, NT

These bee flies are dark brown to black in colour. The black-patterned wings help to identify them. Also identified by the the broad white scale band, and extensions on the apical margin of the band.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Diptera
  • Family: Bombyliidae
  • Subfamily: Anthracinae
  • Tribe: Exoprosopini
  • Genus: Balaana
  • Species: Balaana abscondita

Footnote & References

  1. Balaana abscondita, iNaturalistAU – Many thanks to chris-lambkin from the iNaturalistAU community for ID confirmation and additional info, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/observations/103519835
  2. Gigantea Beefly II – Balaana abscondita, https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_robbers/BalaanaBeefly2.htm
  3. Balaana, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaana (last visited Dec. 23, 2021)
  4. Bee-fly (Balaana gigantea), Bushpea.com – Birds, Books & Other Stuff, http://bushpea.com/in/pg/all/b/bee-fly%20(balaana%20gigantea)%2001.html