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Large, robust, yellow and black furry Robber Fly about 2.5 cm long eating a Western Yellowjacket. This fly mimics a bumble bee.
Landed on a Cape Honeysuckle branch under bamboo in the backyard. These prefer open, sunny locations where they await on twigs for passing prey. This is the only species in this genus in California. The genus Mallophora can be found in most southern states of the US down south to South America.
"They will hunt just about any flying insect but favored prey seem to be honey bees, Apis mellifera, which are taken on the wing as they visit flowers. The fly pierces the bee with bladelike mouth parts just behind the head into the thorax, immobilizing by severing the thoracic nerve, and carrying it back to its perch, drinks it dry." - Don McIntire Aka Robber Fly. I shot this with my compact Canon PowerShot G12 using the scene mode of Kids & Pets and manual focus.
Spotted on Sep 6, 2011
Submitted on Sep 6, 2011
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