Bee Killer (Mallorphora leschenaulti)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Bee Killer.
Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Part of the Robber Fly family, Bee Killers are exactly what they say they are: flies that eat all sorts of bees for dinner.
It may seem unusual for a fly to take on a stinging insect in battle, but nature is unpredictable and surprising. Bee Killers are not just bee hunters, they are also bee mimics. They are fuzzy with black hair. They have spots of yellow on their head as well as just above the wings. They buzz in flight so they may be mistaken for a bee by insects and humans near them, but the lack of long antennae is a giveaway that they are flies.
They capture honeybees, carpenter bees, and bumble bees as well as paper wasps. Perched on branches or twigs, the Bee Killer will spot flying prey and attack it in mid-air, grabbing it with their legs, and killing it. They have been seen hanging around bee hives and wasp nests. This species of Bee Killer is not a known pest to people.