Yesterday, I discussed a common group of flies that mimic bees and wasps. Here’s a more challenging mimic. This one is also a fly, but a pretty convincing fake bumble bee!

In fact, there is a whole genera of flies known as bee-like robber flies.  They typically are described as having a “beard” on their face.  Personally, I’d say it was more of a Vandyke goatee–but why quibble.

Robber flies are predatory flies, and can often be seen on a perch, looking for their next victim.   If you see something that looks like a bee lounging about on a leaf, it’s likely to be a robber fly.

You can find some truly amazing photos of a bee-like robber fly and it’s prey at CirrusImage.

Thanks to Ben.Lease for this photo!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!

4 Comments

  1. Feel free to borrow photos from my Flickr site. They’ll be tagged Diptera and (usually) mimic.

  2. Good series, and just what I needed! I just posted a photo that may be a mimic. Can you look at it and give me a hint? It’s here.

  3. Another cool insect… I may try to get back at mines…

  4. Wow. I’m not so familiar with robber flies, they look absolutely cool with that beard.

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