Subject: hanging-thief in Western MA?
Geographic location of the bug: Northampton, MA
Time: 10:25 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi! I saw this bug in a parking lot near my house and thought it was a crane fly until it settled down and I got a good look at it. This is the best photo I could get before it flew off. (It’s hard to tell in this lighting but its eyes were green.) Doing some image searches has left me pretty sure it’s some kind of hanging-thief robber fly. Anyway I’ve never seen one of these before and I thought it was neat!
How you want your letter signed: Matthew D.
Dear Matthew D.,
We agree with your identification of this Hanging Thief, a Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites. Your subject line appears to question if their range includes Maryland and according to BugGuide data, they are found over much of eastern North America. We are not sure if your research produced the etymology of the common name which refers to the Hanging Thieves’ habit of eating while hanging from one leg.