Subject: Large Biting Fly
Geographic location of the bug: Tyler, Texas
Time: 12:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We see these ‘bugs’ usually in the fall. Their bite is painful and leaves whelps. Wasp killer spray does them in so we got pictures this time.
How you want your letter signed: Bob & Elaine
Dear Bob & Elaine,
Normally we would expect a large biting fly to be a Horse Fly or a Deer Fly, and this looks more to us like a predatory Robber Fly, but we have not had any luck matching your images to a species. While we caution readers not to carelessly handle large Robber Flies as they might bite, we do not know of any reports of unprovoked bites from Robber Flies. We will be sending your images to Eric Eaton to get a second opinion on its identity.
Eric Eaton Responds.
Yes, it is a robber fly, but I suspect that it is guilty by association with something like a horse fly or deer fly. Robber flies do NOT habitually bite people. They are strictly predators of other insects.