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

Maybe a Golden Back Snipe Fly?
This thing was big! I’ve seen a couple of these buzzing around a flowering shrub this summer. This one had gotten trapped in our screened back porch. It buzzed around like mad, then settled down so I photographed it at length. Then it dropped down dead. Must have been the 108 degree temperature. It’s been mighty hot here in the Ozarks the past week or so. And bone dry. I cropped and compressed this photo so it wouldn’t be huge. I have numerous HQ photos of this insect if you want. I’m sure it’s a "fly" of some sort, just unsure as to what. Thanks!
Gary Parnell
Mnt. Home, AR

Hi Gary,
This is one of the Giant Robber Flies, the Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes. It is also known as a Bee Panther. BugGuide has some great photos.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Huge Wasp found in my pool
My niece found this huge wasp in our pool today and we are curious about what it is and if we should be worried. I have never noticed one around the house before, but then again I let the bees and wasp do there business so I never pay that much attention (I leave them alone, they leave me alone). He was dead by time we found him so after taking our pictures we dropped him onto a spider web and came inside to see if we could identify it on your site, no luck. I cannot get anymore pictures or info because within a few minutes the spider had taken him into his lair 🙂
Kristy Fedyk

Hi Kristy,
We believe this is a female Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes, one of the Giant Robber Flies. If handled, they are capable of biting, but they are much more interested in capturing other winged prey. They are also known as Bee Panthers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you identify this bug?
Hope you can help as this bug has "attacked" two different people – one in Georgia and one in Kentucky. Thanks.
Nebby McMahon

Hi Nebby,
Wow, that Hanging Thief, a type of Robber Fly, has really chocked up the mileage if it traveled between Georgia and Kentucky.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bumblebee killing honeybee? queen mating with drone?
I can see that this is obviously a bumblebee (don’t know which species); but I’m surprised to see it firmly attached to what appears to be a honeybee (or a drone?). I’ve sent two different views. Do you have any idea what’s going on here? Thanks for any time you can spare to help me out.
Chuluota, FL (Central Fl)

Hi Diane,
This is not a Bumblebee. It is a Robber Fly known as a Southern Bee Killer, Mallophora orcina. According to BugGuide it is a: “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

Huge Orange Robber Fly
I know you’re swamped, but check out these shots of some kind of large orange robber fly! I’m doing fieldwork in burned forest areas of interior BC and came across this critter one morning on a burned Douglas Fir trunk. I think you can see pupa cases in one of the photos, too… it must have recently emerged. Sadly there’s nothing to indicate scale but I’d say the fly was 2.5-3.5 cm in length. What IS it?!

Hi Shannon,
We believe this is one of the Bee-Like Robber Flies in the genus Laphria. We have eliminated the Bee Killer genus Mallophora thanks to this explanation on BugGuide posted by Herschel Raney: “Mallophora Have the very slim antenna tips. Laphria all have the blunted tapered tips.” Your specimen has the blunt tapered antennae. The closest match we can find is Laphria fernaldi, but we would love to get a more expert opinion.

Update: (07/11/2007)
Eric Eaton sent me. His email is glitching. This concerns the Laphria photo from BC with the golden hair and the silver legs. (Now on your robber page.) It is one of the species that Bullington moved out of Laphria proper in his dissertation which has never been published. So we cannot use the other genera names. Dr. Cannings would like to email the shooter about her shot if you can get me the email. Comments from Dr. Rob Cannings in BC. “I’m pretty certain it’s Laphria sackeni Wilcox (apical palp hairs look golden, not black), a widespread Cordilleran species… BC interior and coast north to Alaska…south to California and Colorado. Likes open areas in conifer forests (logged and burned sites) and, like other Laphria species, develops in dead wood.”
Herschel Raney

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I entered this before
I sent this before but I don’t know if you got it. I photographed this bug last summer in Northern NJ. I have never seen anything like this before and if I didn’t have the one photo of it, I don’t think I could have convinced anyone else of it’s existence! It was only about an inch or so big, I had to zoom in to get a good photo of it. I only got the one photo before it flew away. Please help me identify this bug!
Sue Dericks
Byram, NJ

Hi Sue,
This is a Robber Fly that is known by the colorful name of the Hanging Thief.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination