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Bee-like Robberfly

Laphria thoracica


Bee. Approximately 2-2l/2". Black and yellow. Fuzzy.


Spotted in backyard garden on butterfly bush.


The Japanese Beetles on the Butterfly Bush were all piled up in one spot when I noticed this bee on the back side of the bush with a beetle. The bee stayed on a leaf with the beetle for several minutes then dropped it and washed its face (or maybe it was licking its chops) then flew off and, within a matter of seconds, returned with a second beetle. I continued photographing it until I was afraid it might get aggravated by my presence. Normally I would've just thought this was a bumble bee except for this behavior.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Bee-like Robberfly
Laphria thoracica robber fly - Laphria thoracica - BugGuide.Net

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ElaineWebb 11 years ago

Thank you, Jakubko! Those Japanese Beetles don't have a chance this year with this beast out there! I think I have seen the Robberfly before but had thought it was a Borer Bee. How wrong I was!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 11 years ago

Interesting! Seems like a native robberfly was taking care of the invasive Popillia japonica population in your area! Flies in the genus Laphria are extreme predators, and take on the mimicry of otherwise harmless bees. I think this is L. thoracica due to the reddish legs.

Spotted by

Connecticut, USA

Spotted on Jun 27, 2013
Submitted on Jun 28, 2013

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