written by Jill B.
You can post your responses under the comments section.
Here are some of the responses we received from four different master gardeners:
- – Looks like a type of Bumble bee. They don’t usually nest in homes. They are typically ground dwellers. It takes quite a bit to get a Bumble to sting.
- – My guess is that it is in the “robber”fly clan.
- -Looks like some kind of fly to me.
- -It also looks a lot like Sacken’s Bee Hunter.
And, the answer is ……… (drum roll……..)
I sent the photo to Richard Lewis, our local entomologist. His answer was:
“It is a robber fly, eyes and antennae very distinctive of flies. Probably from the genus Laphria but several genus from the Asilidae (robber flies) are bee mimics. They feed on other insects that often are quite large including bees, grasshoppers, dragonflies and butterflies. They generally ambush their prey and attack it in flight. Can inflict a painful bite if handled but not poisonous. Most are quite large and robust but very cool bugs and a great specimen, they are not uncommon but I have never seen a bee mimic.”
This was a fun one to follow! If anyone else wants to be on the plant clinic solving list, let me know and I can include you as an investigator. I won’t publish names, so that anyone can chime in and not feel intimidated. We will be posting these weekly on this blog, so check back often!
Some great info about robber flies:
Robber flies and other insects: