Subject: Horsefly or Drone?
Geographic location of the bug: Chile central
Time: 06:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This little fellow was spotted on a tree. Ive never seen this kind before in this region, we have gray horse flies and Scapia Lata in the south. Seeing it from distance it looked like a queen bee or drone (because of the size), a “bumblebee male” someone suggested, but I believe is a smartly bee-colored horsefly. Can you identify the bug ?
How you want your letter signed: Mr.
This is one impressive looking female, predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae. We were unable to locate any Chilean individuals that resemble your submission, but it does remind us of the North American Bee Killers. Large Robber Flies like this one often take large winged prey, including wasps and bees, on the wing.
Thank you very much!!! Your identification has been confirmed by a local entomologist, this specimen corresponds to Obelophorus landbecki species, apparently a stealthy hunter from the arid Chilean central zone.
Thanks so much for writing back with a species identification. We did locate an image on the Pierre.Comte.Over blog as well as an image on Insectos de Chile, and in both instances they are images of mounted specimens. We could not find any images online of living specimens, which makes the posting of your contribution to our site unique.