Subject: bee fly??
Location: Boxford, MA
June 11, 2013 7:15 pm
As I was hiking in a woodland field surrounded by flowers, I came across this guy. I thought it was a bumblebee but then I saw it’s big fly-like eyes.
I would love to know what it is.
Signature: Roberta

Robber Fly

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Dear Roberta,
This is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae and there are many genera with species that resemble Bumble Bees, like your individual.  We believe this might be Laphria flavicollis based on this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide,  “adults predaceous on flying insects, including bees and other robber flies” and these Bee-Like Robber Flies were originally classified as “Bombomima Enderlein.”

Location: Boxford, Massachusetts

4 Responses to Bumble Bee Mimic Robber Fly

  1. Antikythera says:

    A friend of mine recently snapped a picture of what looked like a bumblebee clutching a box-elder bug to its body. The pair landed on her leg while she was in the garden and were off again. It could very well have been one of these with prey, although hers had a fuzzier abdomen than this one.

  2. benjamin maleson says:

    The robber flies seem quite intelligent and friendly compared to most flies. Unafraid of human contact they permit me to touch them without flying off. I had never seen the bumblebee mimic till this week when one landed on my hand and kept me company for a while.

  3. Richard says:

    Saw my first one today…live in Dutchess county NY.

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