Location: Gloucester Twp, Camden County, NJ
July 19, 2010 3:11 pm
This brutal assault was in our front yard. The amber winged-warrior was the perched assailant, snatching its ill-fated victim from mid-flight.
We’d like to know what they are. Research suggests the Amber is Ophion Luteus, a parasitic wasp, while the other seems to be Ammophilia procera or possibly even Ammophila conditor? The tail marking seems to suggest the latter, though sites indicate this is a little known or observed wasp (if correct).
This magnificent predator is a Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites, a group known as the Hanging Thieves because of the way they often hang from a single foot while devouring their prey, exactly as your fabulous photographs demonstrate. We do not feel confident identifying this Hanging Thief to the species level, but you can view BugGuide for additional details. We believe you may be correct on the Wasp identification. It sure does look like one of the Thread-Waisted Wasps in the genus Ammophila based on images posted to BugGuide, but again, we do not feel confident taking the identification to the species level.