Yellow Jacket Hover Fly
Here are some more pictures from Eagle River, Alaska. These are a hover fly that is an excellent yellow jacket mimic. Their front legs are black and they usually hold them out in front and wave them about like yellow jacket antennae. The other four legs are yellow like a yellow jacket. In these pictures, it is hard to see the front legs, as he is using them to eat. These are very hard to distinguish from the local yellow jackets. The only reason they are easy to spot this year is there are no yellow jackets near my house. We had a late, cold spring, followed by a hot dry summer, and all the yellow jackets and hornets seem to have died off. Last year, there were so many that my yard had a constant loud hum from the thousands of yellow jackets. Anyway, all the yellow jacket mimics really stand out this year (like the wasp moth I sent last month). Also, here is another hover fly. The color morphology was different from the others I have seen on your site, so I thought you would like to add them to your collection. Finally, here are two beetles on a wild prickly rose. I’m not really looking for an ID, I just thought it was a neat picture and figured you’d like it. (sorry about the black specks, the image sensor was dirty and I was using a very small aperture). I’m sure you are swamped with bug pictures right now, but would you be interested in a CD of some of the better ones from this summer? I could send you one this winter after things slow down a bit.
ps. If anyone is interested, the camera used was a Canon EOS 5D with a EF – 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens and MT-24 Macro Flash
Yes, we really are swamped right now, but there seems to never be a slow time. Winter in US means summer in Australia, and we get many requests from Down Under. WE feel guilty when we do not respond to your letters, but we have a better request than you sending us a CD. A CD would not have an explanatory letter and we like having information. Please limit your submissions to one insect, or type of insect, per letter. It makes it so difficult to get your letters with four or five wonderful images that need to be posted on numerous pages so we procrastinate, then forget. Off the tops of our heads, we cannot even recall the Wasp Moth you mention in this letter. Did we post it? If not, please resend with information. Meanwhile, we are happy to post your unidentified Alaskan Hover Flies. The Yellow Jacket mimic might be the genus Chrysotoxum.