what is it?
November 11, 2009
i would like to know what kind of bug this is
Enterprise Northwest territories
This is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus Laphria. There are no exact matches on BugGuide, but Laphria janus, which is found in Canada, looks somewhat similar, but with a yellow thorax rather than the black thorax of your specimen. The Wisconsin Butterflies page shows some mating Laphria janus, and the differences between them an your specimen are even more obvious. We found a species called Laphria index on the www.hr-rna.com website that also shares some similarities with your specimen. It is also pictured on the Wisconsin Butterflies website. Continuing to follow clues, we found an image on BugGuide of a female specimen identified as being in the Laphria scorpio/aeatus group that seems the closest yet, but the abdominal coloration is not exact. Perhaps one of our readers can assist with an exact species identification.
You are correct on the genus, and it is clearly a male with those big claspers on the tip of the abdomen. Dr. Robert Cannings in British Columbia would recognize the species right off.
Dr. Robert Cannings replies: Laphria gilva
November 15, 2009
Hi Daniel: This is Laphria gilva. It ranges around the whole northern hemisphere in northern coniferous forests (It’s the only holarctic species in the asilid subfamily Laphriinae). In Eurasia it is known as Choerades gilvus. In North America it ranges from Alaska and Yukon east to New Brunswick, south to Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.
Please also let Eric Eaton know its identity. Thanks!
Dr. Robert A. Cannings
Curator of Entomology
Royal British Columbia Museum