Friday, June 20, 2014
Robber Fly Bumblebee Mimic Eating Real Bumblebees
There are many species of Bumblebees, but most of us are more familiar with the large yellow and black ones that generally ignore us while busily working away at gathering nector and pollen, as in this picture taken at Springbrook Nature Center.
As can be seen in these pictures this member of the fly family is an amazing mimic of a bumblebee.
By using this mimicry, the fly can sit in the open among leaves and flowers and not be seen as a threat by other insects. And birds don't try to eat it since they don't want to be stung.
It did not take it long to get close enough to one of the small bumblebees to grab it and then land on a leaf to enjoy a healthy lunch with its piercing and sucking mouthparts.
Mimicry works for both defense and offense, especially for this fly.