Fast-flying, black-and-gold, hairy, and buzzy: this Robber Fly species often gets mistaken for an expeditious bumble bee.
Laphria grossa is an excellent doppleganger for a common bumble bee. The black and yellow bands of color are in similar places. The amount of yellow on the body may vary by region, but the face, thorax, upper legs, and upper abdomen have yellow hairs. A quick look at the Robber Fly's antennae show that they are short; bees have longer antennae that are bent, or elbowed. The brown wings flap so rapidly, they create an audible buzzing sound when they fly by people.
Robber Flies steal their meals from the skies. They often rest on a tree branch, fence post, or other perch, waiting for insects to fly nearby. The speed of the Robber Fly allows it to catch and ambush insects in-flight. This species is fond of Japanese Beetles, which makes them a welcome guest in a garden. Look for them in areas where oak and elms trees grow as well as garden areas with flying prey.
Scientific Name: Laphria grossa
Other Name(s): Golden Giant Bee-Mimic Robber Fly
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 35mm (0.86in to 1.37in)
Colors: black, gold, yellow
Descriptors: fast, loud, buzz, bumble bee, hairy, flying, legs
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