What is this insect?
While taking pictures of “butterfly weed” I noticed an odd/unusual flying insect which appeared to me to be a cross between a hummingbird and beetle. It was hard shelled and perhaps about the size of a nickel or quarter. Clear colored wings, metallic/iridescence looking colors of black, blue and green, (depending on the light source perhaps), golden colored eyes, no antennas that I could see, six legs and a very long proboscis. I’ve searched my field guides and nothing comes close. What is this insect? I live in North Central Arkansas. Thank you,
We thought this might be a Bee Fly, but has never seen anything like it. So … as we always do when in doubt, we turn to Eric Eaton. Here is his excited response: “Holy moly! What a proboscis! I am pretty sure this is a small-headed fly in the family Acroceridae. They are not terribly common. Larvae are internal parasites of spiders, but usually have to crawl around looking for a host after mom deposits her eggs in spider habitat. Trapdoor spiders are often the victims. I’d love to see this posted to BugGuide, as I believe it would be a whole new family for that site. I hate to ask that, everytime you send a cool image, but that is what BugGuide is for. The more diversity there, the more helpful it is to people wondering what their mystery bug is:-) I appreciate your indulgence in forwarding such requests to the submitters. Thank you. Eric” If they are so rare, it is great to see them perpetuating the species. So Kay, if you don’t mind, I would like to submit the image to BugGuide as well.
Lasia purpurata Bequaert
Wow! This fly is quite rare in collections. It is Lasia purpurata Bequaert, which has been recorded from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.