Subject: Maybe a flower wasp?
Geographic location of the bug: Rural Northwest Tennessee, USA
Time: 08:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This large wasp is trapped in my screen porch. I usually relocate insects that get caught back outside, but this one is acutely aware of my approach. I think it is some kind of flower wasp, but I am unsure if it has the ability to sting. I know that usually female flower wasps are flightless and the males can fly. I don’t want to mess with it if I’m likely to get stung as it is far to aware of my attempts so far. Any thoughts?
How you want your letter signed: Jess
This is not a Flower Wasp, or any kind of wasp for that matter, but rather, a harmless Mydas Fly, Mydas clavatus, that benefits from mimicking a stinging wasp. According to BugGuide: “Large black fly with red/orange mark on top (dorsum) of 2nd abdominal segment. Body hairless, cylindrical. Eyes large. Antennae are distinctively clubbed in the Mydidae. This species flies rather boldly in the open. With the black-and-orange pattern, it resembles a wasp and fools the casual observer” and “Batesian mimic of certain spider wasps (Pompilidae).”