Subject: What’s happening here?
Location: Houston area, Texas
September 28, 2013 1:00 pm
I walked around these bugs in our river birch sapling for 10 minutes, trying to get my camera to focus on the right thing and also to figure out what was going on — if they were mating, or if one was getting eaten.
They were both about an inch and a half long. One appeared solid black with very hairy legs. The other, looking at the photo now, appears to be black and yellow.
Is the black one squeezing the other so hard it’s innards have come out?
They stayed where they were for about 5 minutes until I ventured too close, at which time the black one flew off, carrying the other one with it.
This is a nice photo for our Food Chain tag. The predator is a Robber Fly, most likely a Bee Killer in the genus Mallophora, possibly a Belzebul Bee Eater. We cannot identify the prey from your photo, but it does not appear to be a bee or wasp which frequently fall prey to large Robber Flies.