Thursday, September 3, 2009

Golden Wasp Fly

This is one of those bugs that is extremely hard to identify because there are about a hundred other variations of this same strange mixture of features. Flies that look like wasps, wasps that look like flies - I don't know what all these guys do but it must be something important because there's so many of them. I am hoping they pick up the slack of the honey bees, since pollinating this year was at an all time low. It would be good to spread that work load around. ;)
It has very large fly like eyes and legs, but a wasp shaped body and what may be a faux stinger for a nose. It wasn't aggressive, nor was it friendly - it's coloration and shape make it look as though it's something you don't want to touch - and I wonder if that is a defensive disguise, some biomimicry action going on? Any (real or wanna be) entomologists out there know what this is?!


Gratuitous said...

Could be Diogmites angustipennis (bet one of the grasshoppers below would love to have that name) or D. neoturnatis or missouriensis, but there are many similar bugs in the Asilidae family. AKA the Robber Fly. Very much a predator, it injects neurotoxin with its beak into many different species of insects (mostly flying ones)and melts the insides and slurps it up, like spiders do. Here's a bunch O' varieties:

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Oh neato! Thanks Gratuitous -
I knew there were a ton of variety for that kind of fly... the one pictured here is definitely the Diogmites neoternatus (after looking through the pictures). I have seen another wasp like bug that is orange with blue wings that keeps killing wolf spiders and dragging them off to eat. I didn't see it on that list but I am sure it is doing the whole inject and slurpy thing.
You are the bug identifying MASTER!

Susie Collins said...

You're doing such an awesome job photographing insects.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Thanks Susie!!! I think I have a pretty huge collection of documented bugs going now! :)