Tag Archive | Robber Fly

Laphria are back!


I came up to SFU today to give a practice run-through of my PhD defense seminar (it is next week!). The talk went OK, given that I had not practiced it, but afterward, at lunch, I went out to see what I could see in the forest behind the lab. What I saw was this beautiful bee-like robber fly (Laphria spp.) munching down on a bumblebee! I hope you enjoy the pictures!


This fly was being very uncooperative, facing away from the camera on a high bush.


Laphria are likely Batesian mimics of bumblebees, and you can see the resemblance here.


Here is the last shot I got of the pair, as the robber takes off to find a paparazzi-free perch to enjoy its meal.


Who likes robber flies?


Coming in to the lab this morning, I found this beautiful male Laphria robber fly sitting on a window. He was still cool from the night, so he made a very cooperative photographic subject.

These large handsome flies are strikingly marked and are Batesian mimics of bumblebees. Robber flies do not rob banks, they rob life. For a great example of this, see Alex Wild’s wonderful photo of one with a honeybee.

This robber robbed me of about 30 minutes of photography time, but I think it is well worth it!


If you are interested in how to get these blue sky backgrounds, see this excellent post at Beetles in the Bush.

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