More on the Belzebul Robber Fly
August 20, 2009
These photos were taken today, Aug. 20th. These flies are still in our yard (first spotted on Aug. 6th), still hanging out among the crepe myrtle trees. I never did spot any fly eggs, but they certainly may be on the trees or grass. I think this is one of the robber flies with what appears to be a honeybee as prey. Sorry the photo isn’t very clear. The flies zip away if I get very close with the camera. This one flew away, prey and all. One fly is the gigantic one, and we have several that are smaller but seem to be the same species.
I read with interest the information cited about the robber flies; we don’t have any barnyards near, but we do have a creek bed behind us with tall sedges and grasses, and we are on the edge of town with extensive cow pastures/brushy areas beginning one block away. Love your website!
Coryell County, Texas, where it is HOT and we’re in drought conditions
There are at least 3 different species of Bee Killers in the genus Mallophora that live in Texas, and though your previous submission was identified by us as a Belzebul Bee Eater, we believe this specimen to be a Southern Bee Killer, Mallophora orcina, based on the coloration of the beard and abdomen as depicted on BugGuide.
Possible Young Belzebul Bee Eater or Something Else?
August 20, 2009
I’m not sure if this is a young Belzebul Bee Eater or not. I’m sending two photos of the original gigantic Belzebul (8-6-09) and a new photo of one of the smaller flies I’m seeing around the yard (8-20-09). The eyes and antennae seem the same, but the smaller insects have yellow hair on the abdomens and not as much black hair on the legs.
I sent some photos earlier today of one of these smaller flies with honeybee prey.
I had a thought about the eggs also. Although we don’t have a compost pile or barnyard, we do have mulch in all of the gardens. We may be hatching Belzebul eggs as well as a myriad of spiders, caterpillars and beetles. 🙂
It’s summertime and the living is easy but it’s very hot. Thanks.
Coryell County, Central Texas
This confirms what we wrote back on the earlier email. We believe this is a Southern Bee Killer.
Update: August 14, 2014
Based on a brand new submission, we are now doubting that this is a Southern Bee Killer, and we are entertaining the possibility that it is Mallophora fautrix.