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Apocephalus borealis is a species of North American parasitoid phorid fly that attacks bumblebees, honey bees, and paper wasps. This parasitoid's genus Apocephalus is best known for the "decapitating flies" that attack a variety of ant species, though A. borealis attacks and alters the behavior of bees and wasps.[2] These flies are colloquially known as zombie flies and the bees they infect are colloquially known as zombees.[3] The association with honey bees has so far only been documented from California, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Vancouver Island), and Vermont.

History[]

Apocephalus borealis is a species of North American parasitoid phorid fly that attacks bumblebees, honey bees, and paper wasps. This parasitoid's genus Apocephalus is best known for the "decapitating flies" that attack a variety of ant species, though A. borealis attacks and alters the behavior of bees and wasps.[2] These flies are colloquially known as zombie flies and the bees they infect are colloquially known as zombees.[3] The association with honey bees has so far only been documented from California, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Vancouver Island), and Vermont.

A Vector for Pathogens[]

To make matters worse for the infected hosts, microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Unfortunately both larvae and adult phorids have tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir host of these honey bee pathogens.[2] A. borealis has also been suggested as a possible vector promoting the spread of the pathogens responsible for colony collapse disorder.

Life cycle[]

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