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any insect of the family Bombyliidae (order Diptera). Many resemble bees, and most have long proboscises (feeding organs) that are used to obtain nectar from flowers. Their metallic brown, black, or yellow colour is attributable to a covering of dense hair; in many species the body and sometimes the wings bear patches of delicate and easily abraded scales. Some bee flies are quite small, and their immature stages are unknown. Many species, including the largest and most showy, are tropical; but some species with a length of more than 1 cm (0.4 inch) live in temperate regions. They are usually found on flowers around sunny, grassy places.