Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee Fly?  Laphria thoracica?
Geographic location of the bug:  Carlsbad, NM
Date: 11/16/2017
Time: 10:40 PM EDT
This guy (or gal) was hanging out on our screen door in early August of this year.  He didn’t seem to mind when we went in or out, and he didn’t mind being photographed.  Eventually, he flew away.  He looked like a bee crossed with a big fly.  We don’t recall seeing such a colorful one before.  We searched your site and a few others on the internet.  We think he looks like some of the Laphria Thoracica on Bug Guide but not exactly.  We were hoping you might know.  Thanks for all the time and hard work you put into your site.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Bee Killer

Dear Curious,
This is a Robber Fly, not a Bee Fly, and you do not have the genus correct.  It is NOT
Laphria thoracica, as that species has a yellow thorax based on BugGuide images, and your individual has a black thorax.  In our opinion, this is a member of a different genus of Robber Flies.  We believe it is a Bee Killer, Mallophora fautrix, a species pictured on BugGuide can be distinguished from the previous genus and described on BugGuide as “Large, fuzzy, bee-mimicking robber flies. Resemble Laphria, another genus of robbers that mimic bumblebees, but is even hairier and has antennae with a very thin terminal final segment, whereas Laphria has thick antennae.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Weird insect : cross between cicada and spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Sydney
Date: 10/11/2017
Time: 06:15 PM EDT
We found this in our backyard. Could you help me identify this insect? And if it is harmful to my kids?
How you want your letter signed:  Dida

Robber Fly

Dear Dida,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and members of the family are not aggressive toward humans, however, we would not try to handle one at the risk of being bitten.  Your individual looks similar to this individual posted to Australian Geographic.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick respond! 🙂 we are new to Australia, and constantly see ‘new’ insect species. As Australia is known for venomous animal kingdom, we try to keep our kids from harm. Thanks again!
Cheers!
Dida

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cross between a wasp and dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Maryland
Date: 09/12/2017
Time: 12:02 AM EDT
Any ideas? Some are calling this a cicada killer but those look MUCH more like wasps…this has a more dragonfly like tail but appears to only have two wings..
How you want your letter signed —
Chris in Md

Giant Robber Fly

Dear Chris,
This is a predatory Robber Fly, and you were astute to observe that it has a single pair of wings.  We believe it is a Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus which is well represented on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles backyard
Date: 09/10/2017
Time: 11:36 AM EDT
Hi! My grandson found this black bug–it’s about 1 1/2 ” long with a torpedo-shaped body with a narrow pointed end. The bug often elevated its rear end. He first found it on it’s back and saw it arch it’s back and move it’s legs over its body to flip onto it’s stomach. Not sure how many wings it has.
How you want your letter signed:  Brody

Giant Robber Fly

Dear Brody,
We believe this large predator is a Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, probably Promachus albifacies based on this BugGuide image.  It also resembles this unidentified species on the Natural History of Orange County site.

Thank you so much for your response!  My grandson (11) is thrilled to know the insect name and be on your terrific site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a bee killer
Geographic location of the bug:  Hanover, Pennsylvania
Date: 09/04/2017
Time: 04:17 PM EDT
Is this a bee killer? If so should I be concerned?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks you

Red Footed Cannibalfly

We believe your Robber Fly is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes.  Robber Flies in the genus Promachus are commonly called Giant Robber Flies or Bee Killers, according to BugGuide, so you are correct.  You should not be concerned.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Spruce Pine NC
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 04:28 PM EDT
Hi I saw this little critter on its back and was going to help flip him over but he turned back without my help. I thought he was just a regular Bee until I saw his wings legs and stinger. It’s the beginning of fall here I have to say I’ve never saw a bee quite like this!
How you want your letter signed:  SJ

Female Giant Robber Fly

Dear SJ,
This is not a bee.  It is a predatory Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, but we are not certain of the species.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is the ovipositor the female uses to lay eggs.  Here is a similar looking individual on BugGuide.

Female Giant Robber Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination