Subject: Strange, perhaps injured, bug
Location: White Marsh, MD
August 8, 2014 7:21 pm
This insect has been hanging around our patio — first seen sitting on a concrete block under a set of wooden steps that lead down to our patio, then the next morning, on the patio itself, about 2 feel from first location — and it has me stymied. About 2 1/2 long, large black eyes, yellow and black stripes. Doesn’t move when approached, or react to loud noises. What the heck is this?
Signature: Thanks, Joan G

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Joan,
This predatory Robber Fly looks like a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, and we believe it is probably perfectly fine and behaving like the stealth predator that it is.  Like many predators, Red Footed Cannibalflies are territorial, and when the hunting is good, they will remain in the area.  Large Robber Flies are among the few predators that will attempt to prey upon stinging wasps, and perhaps there is a nearby nest of hornets or paper wasps that is supplying this individual with a ready source of food.  Robber Flies take prey on the wing, and when a likely source of food flies by, we predict this individual will take off and snatch an unsuspecting wasp or other insect out of the air.  Robber Flies are not aggressive toward humans, but we would caution you to refrain from trying to catch one with your hands as that might result in a bite, though we have never received a report of a person being bitten by a Robber Fly.

Thank you so much!  My granddaughter will be thrilled to learn this, and I am relieved to know about it’s peaceful character.  Yes, there are wasps about – I’m happy to have him here!
Joan Garrity
Serenity, courage, wisdom.

Location: White Marsh, Maryland

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