Subject: Large insect with wasp prey
Location: West coast of British Columbia
July 29, 2015 3:43 pm
I took these photos on July 29/15 in the town of Nanaimo, on the west coast of British Columbia. This awesome creature was on a salal leaf, in a dry forest of Douglas fir, hemlock, and arbutus. I wanted to get a side view shot as well, but it must have been bothered by my intrusion into its juicy meal, and flew away. Can you tell what species it is? I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Laphria genus, Robber flies.
Thanks a lot. Love your site!
Signature: John Segal
Because of the thick antennae that helps to identify the genus, we agree that this is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus Laphria, and after searching through 10 pages of species on BugGuide, we have narrowed down the possibilities to five species that have yellow thoracic hair and that generally resemble your individual, which appears to be feeding on a Yellowjacket based on this facial closeup on BugGuide. The abdomen on Laphria fernaldi appears too orange to be your species. In alphabetical order, the most similar looking species on BugGuide are: Laphria astur, Laphria janus, Laphria partitor and Laphria unicolor. Of those, we believe the images of Laphria astur on BugGuide look the closest, but we are by no means experts in the identification of Robber Flies. Thanks for your excellent Food Chain contribution, and in the future, we can accept larger digital files to ensure the highest quality of the images on our site.
Thanks very much for helping me identify an insect I’ve never seen before. I really appreciate it.
Those photos are about 650 X 450 KB; the size I use for email. Let me know if you’d like me to send them again, as larger files, and what the maximum size is that you can receive.
Thanks again. Excellent website you have there!
We can easily accept 5MB files. We are then able to crop into details like the antennae on this Bee-Like Robber Fly. You may send them larger and we will crop to some details.
Great! Okay, here are my two photos, each about 1.7 MB.
Thanks again for your great website, and all the work you do for us bug-curious types!
Thanks for sending the higher resolution files. Since you already cropped the images the first time, we were not able to magnify much more, but we did move a bit closer.