Subject: Southeastern PA Insect
Location: SE Pennsylvania
July 25, 2013 4:44 pm
Hello! I failed to ID this on any site!
Here’s the deets*:
-Can fly (not gracefully) with its transparent, black-tinted wings
-3 dark brownish stripes/raindrops on its upper abdomen, running parallel with its body
-Drags its 2 back legs (of 6 total) behind it in a wasp-like way
-A bit bigger than a quarter
-Found under a bush; wasn’t aggressive nor fleeting, but kind of stupid. It would take a flutter hop or two when we excited it with a blade of grass.
*Yes, that was a pun. Thanks all!
Do not judge what your perceived to be a lack of grace in this Hanging Thief, a Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites, too harshly. While they may seem ungainly on the ground, Hanging Thieves are very adept aerial predators that take large prey, often wasps and bees, on the wing. The common name Hanging Thief refers to their manner of feeding. After catching their winged prey, Hanging Thieves alight and feed, often dangling from a single leg like a circus performer. This posting will go live during our unexpected trip in early August.