Subject: New to my yard
Geographic location of the bug: Southwestern PA, foothills of the Appalachians
Time: 09:25 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’ve just noticed these in my yard this year – and there’s quite a few of them. Yesterday I saw one holding another smaller bug (gnat maybe?)in its, so I’m thinking they might be carnivorous.
How you want your letter signed: Frankie
Your submission has us terribly amused. We immediately suspected this to be a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and we tried a web search for Robber Flies with huge eyes, and we quickly found some images posted to BugGuide indicating it might be in the genus Holcocephala, but alas BugGuide is currently having technical difficulties and is not available, so we searched that genus name elsewhere and we encountered Discover Life where we learned members of this genus are commonly called Gnat Ogres, hence the source of our amusement. For the sake of continuity, we are going to assume the prey you witnessed was in fact a Gnat. The name Gnat Ogre is also used on iNaturalist. According to iNaturalist, there are 40 species in the genus.
Thank you! I love the name!!!