Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Predatory bee killer!
Location: Tucson, AZ
August 20, 2014 5:39 pm
This enormous predator buzzed down to enjoy its dinner on an elk antler in my yard – what is it?
Signature: Alicia

Giant Robber Fly eats Bee

Giant Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Dear Alicia,
This is one of the best feeding Robber Fly images we have received all summer.  This is a Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, a genus well populated in our archives this season due to all the images we have received of Red Footed Cannibalflies.  This is a different member of the genus, and we believe it is Promachus albifacies, a species with no unique common name.  You can compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stink bug eater
Location: Northwest Georgia USA
August 19, 2014 5:57 pm
I saw this huge fly eating on a stink bug at the pool. I took a photo of it thinking it may be a species of dragon fly. There were several Dragon flies around with honey bees in their mouths. . Any clue what this is?
Signature: Scott

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Stink Bug

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Stink Bug

Dear Scott,
This is a marvelous image of a Red Footed Cannibalfly that we can tag as Food ChainRed Footed Cannibalflies are large, predatory Robber Flies.

Thank you very much. I hope this fly stays around and eats all the stink bugs they can. I’m finding stink bugs in my home. The Red footed cannibal fly is welcome to eat all the stink bugs they can.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Lynwood Calfornia
August 17, 2014 7:16 pm
Can you help me identify this bug? I found him outside my door step
Signature: Not sure

Robber Fly:  Efferia species

Robber Fly: Efferia species

Dear Not sure,
This is a Robber Fly in the genus
Efferia, and though we went through numerous images on BugGuide, we could not find any that have the exact coloration of your individual.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide to see that the general physiology is the same.  According to BugGuide, there are:  “110 spp. in our area,” and “in our area, the vast majority are restricted to sw. US, with some widely western spp. and just two widespread spp.”  According to Eric Eaton, male Robber Flies in the genus Efferia:  “have the bulbous claspers, making them reasonably easy to identify.”  Just as we were about to post, we discovered this image of Efferia antiochi on Sardis & Stamm about the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge that looks identical to your Robber Fly.  According to the California Department of Fish and Game:  “Known only from Antioch, Fresno, and Scout Island in the San Joaquin River” which would indicate it is not the same species, but is sure looks close.

Robber Fly:  Efferia species

Robber Fly: Efferia species

We would strongly suggest that you contact the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History as this might be a significant find.

Robber Fly:  Efferia species

Robber Fly: Efferia species

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp? eating ?
Location: San diego
August 17, 2014 11:06 am
Hello Bugman,
Saw what looks like to be a white and black wasp hanging around the garden today. First time I have seen a wasp like this, it is fairly large, looks like it might be eating a small frog?
Signature: curious

Bee Killer eats Honey Bee

Bee Killer eats Honey Bee

Dear curious,
This predatory Robber Fly is a Bee Killer,
Mallophora fautrix, and it appears to be eating a Honey Bee.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly eating a bee?
Location: Austin, tx
August 16, 2014 8:49 pm
Hi Bugman!
Found this dragonfly looking insect sucking down a bee in my back yard. Is it a dragonfly? It was definitely drinking the bee. Craziest thing. I have a giant oregano patch bit flower right now and the bees love it. We have a pool so sometimes see dragonflies, but this had some odd features I’d never seen on a dragonfly, like a clear abdomen and a feathery black tuft at the end of his backside. What’s that bug?
Laura
Austin, TX
Signature: Laura

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Laura,
You are mistaken in thinking that this is a Dragonfly, though like a Dragonfly, this Robber Fly is an adept predator capable of capturing large prey on the wing.  We believe we have correctly identified your Robber Fly as a member of the genus
Efferia due to its resemblance to many members in the genus, including this unidentified species that is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, there are “110 spp. in our area” and “in our area, the vast majority are restricted to sw. US, with some widely western spp. and just two widespread spp..”  We interpret that to mean that many species are very limited in their distribution.  Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to attempt a species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another Southern Bee Killer?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
August 14, 2014 9:55 am
I saw that you had many robber fly inquiries last week. Here is mine. :-)
You kindly identified a Southern Bee Killer for me several years ago. Is this insect the same? It was hiding in plain sight, holding perfectly still on a young crepe myrtle tree, which is a bee magnet due to its many fragrant clusters of blossoms.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Southern Bee Killer

Southern Bee Killer

Dear Ellen,
Taking a closer look at your previous submission from 2009, we now believe neither is a Southern Bee Killer,
Mallophora orcina, as the individuals pictured on BugGuide all have black-tipped abdomens.  Your individual appears to have a yellow abdomen all the way to the tip, which is why we believe it is a different species in the same genus, Mallophora fautrix.  Compare your images to this individual on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it ranges from:  “Texas west to California, southward through Mexico.”  We would really love to get an expert opinion on this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination