One could mistake a Robber Fly from the genus Efferia for some kind of strange black-and-white bee.
Robber Flies are considered 'hanging thieves' because they use their arms to suspend themselves from twigs and branches. From this position, they monitor the skies around them, searching for unsuspecting flying insects. A passerby like a bee, wasp or other fly is not likely to see a Robber Fly as it roams between flowers or shrubs. If within range, with great speed, the Robber Fly chases the flying insect, and eventually overtakes it. Once caught, the Robber Fly uses its legs to hold the prey and carry it to a nearby plant. There, it uses its sharp mouth to stab the victim and suck out the its insides.
All Robber Flies make a loud whirring noise as they fly because they beat their wings so rapidly. A male form the Efferia genus is slightly darker than the female. At the tip of the male's abdomen is black 'bulb' that looks like the rudder on a small airplane. Females do not have this feature; instead they have long needle-like ovipositors, which they use to inject their fertilizes eggs into the soil. It may look like a stinger at first glance, but flies do not have stingers so people are safe from that threat. Both sexes can be found hanging around in open fields, parks, meadows, and other dry areas.
Scientific Name: Efferia spp.
Other Name(s): Robberfly
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 19mm (0.51in to 0.74in)
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