Subject: Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug: Cleveland, NY 13042
Time: 09:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi Mr. Bugman – I came across this insect while photographing dragonflies in my small meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I heard him before I saw him. I was quite fascinated with how low and slow he flew and how loud he was! Sounded like a small drone! I noticed him first yesterday but all he did was fly back and forth without ever stopping. Then late this morning he was in the dirt on the edge of the little meadow acting like an ovipositing dragonfly, but in one place. Then this afternoon I saw him/her fly across the meadow and land quite close by. That is when I got the photos. Any ID help you can give me would be most appreciated.
How you want your letter signed: Ginny
This magnificent Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites is a Hanging Thief, and it is eating its prey, a Wasp, in the typical manner which has led to its common name, by hanging from one leg. We rarely try to identify Hanging Thieves to the species level as we don’t have the necessary expertise, but this sure looks to us like Diogmites discolor which is pictured on BugGuide. You might have witnessed oviposition, because according to BugGuide: “Oviposits in ground, and ovipositor equipped with spines to aid in covering eggs. Larvae are possibly predators in soil”