Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Is it a bird or a plane?

Or maybe a tarantula hawk wasp? That was my first thought when this gigantic thing flew over my head in the back yard yesterday and landed on a live oak branch. I ran in for my camera and then took some shots. It was so high up in the tree that I went back to the house and switched out the lens on my camera for a 300mm, hoping to get better photos. The images weren't a whole lot better but good enough to show a few details of the black insect feeding on a green June bug.
It wasn't until I was getting ready to post here that I looked closer at one of my photos and realized what I'd shot....not a wasp but a FLY. A ROBBER FLY! I believe my UFO may be Mallophora leschenaulti, a species of bee killer robber flies. 

Oh, my! According to Bugguide.net, Mallophora leschenaulti has been reported to attack and kill hummingbirds! Here's more detailed info on Asilidae, the robber fly family.

1 comment:

Melody McMahon said...

Thanks for the info about another insect I'd never heard of. My, what a ferocious little critter! Hope one doesn't come near my hummingbirds!

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