Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug

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Question
Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  

Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  
I live in Kansas and I found this guy having some lunch it appears while hiking in the Perry Lake State Park.  I'm sending a couple photographs from 2 angles.  I have a third angle if necessary.    It's quite large and flew fairly quickly and nimbly for its size.  This guy was seen on July 17th 2013 around mid afternoon in East Central Kansas.

Answer
Hi, Joshua:

Thanks for sharing the images!

The insect is a kind of robber fly that mimics bumblebees.  It belongs to the family Asilidae, genus Laphria :

http://bugguide.net/node/view/5234

You can click on the "browse" tab in the above link to get images by species, and you might make a match by doing so (but there are at least 62 species in North America, many of them looking very similar to each other).

Congratulations on being so observant and curious.  These are the kind of questions I love the most :-)

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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