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.
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.