Kleptoparasitism: Freeloader Flies plague California Mantis devouring Prey on a Woody Plant

Subject:  What are these Flies eating with the California Mantis?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/23/2018
Time: 07:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
The California Mantis living on my Sweet Sarah clone is growing, but today was the first time I saw it with a meal, but these flies were swarming around and the Mantis was shaking its head and moving, but the flies kept pestering.  I watched this for about a half an hour at which time the flies finally tired and flew off.  What are they?  I couldn’t see what the Mantis was eating, but it was green.  There are lots of tiny Grasshoppers on my plants.
How do you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Freeloader Flies Kleptoparasitize Feeding Mantis

Dear Constant Gardener,
Your image is amazing.  We quickly located this image on Colin Purrington Nature Photography that looks remarkably like your image, but the Flies are not identified, but they are compared to “vultures.”  Then we found another image of a Mantis with prey and small flies on BugGuide where they are identified as Freeloader Flies in the genus
Desmometopa and BugGuide states:  “Females are kleptoparasitic and are especially attracted to predatory insects or spiders feeding on honeybees.”

Freeloader Flies with California Mantis on Woody Plant

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