Subject: Help Id?
Location: Big thicket tx
May 16, 2014 8:28 pm
These 2 pics were taken in early May in Big Thicket National Preserve.
Some type of robber fly or canibal fly I guess but can’t find anything like it online.Can you help Id it? Oh. What is it eating? I haven’t seen anything like that either.
We have taken the liberty of lightening your Food Chain image of a Robber Fly eating a Longicorn Beetle. We need to do some research to identify both beyond the family level, and that is our next task. We are relatively certain this is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus Laphria, and the closest match we could find on BugGuide is Laphria grossa, though BugGuide does not have any records from Texas. Since Big Thickets is in the eastern portion of Texas, we believe there is a strong possibility that our identification is correct. We have based our potential identification on the black legs and the markings on the abdomen. A similar looking species, Laphria vorax, has more yellow hairs on the legs according to images posted to BugGuide. Now that we have provided an identification, at least to the genus level, of the predator, we can turn our attention to the Longicorn, a Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae that has many members that mimic wasps, including the prey in your image. The closest match we could find on BugGuide is Clytus marginicollis, but again, there are no reports on BugGuide from Texas. The antennae on your beetle are longer than the examples on Bugguide of Clytus marginicollis, so we are not as confident with our identification of the prey as we are with our identification of the predator. A dorsal view of the prey would be helpful. Perhaps one of our readers will write in with some suggestions.
I only have 1 other shot of the prey from the same angle though it is lighter since I was bracketing 1 stop for scenery and potential HDR images.
There are better exposed images but they are blurry.