Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect ID


I found this in our house.   It appears to be a type of Robber Fly but the large ( I guess ) proboscis is different than any thing I can find.   Can you identify.  Are they of a type that can sting.


Dear Mike - This is indeed a robber fly (Diptera: Asilidae); it appears to be in the genus Mallophora, likely Mallophora leschenaulti, commonly known as the Belzebul bee-eater, or the black bee killer - see http://tinyurl.com/q4g3v8p for images. They cannot sting, but one this size certainly could deliver a painful 'stab' with its proboscis if handled carelessly.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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