Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
Latin clavatus, clubbed; refers to clubbed antennae
25-30 mm length, wingspan to 50 mm or more
Large black fly with red/orange mark on top (dorsum) of 2nd abdominal segment. Body hairless, cylindrical. Eyes large. Antennae are distinctively clubbed in the Mydidae. This species flies rather boldly in the open. With the black-and-orange pattern, it resembles a wasp and fools the casual observer.
Throughout US and Canada--widespread. (As of 2012, BugGuide records were only from eastern and central regions.)
Deciduous woodlands and adjacent fields and shrubby borders.
Summer, June-August (North Carolina)
Adults sometimes found on flowers, presumably taking nectar (guide images). Some sources say adults take caterpillars, flies, bees, and true bugs. Others are skeptical of this.
Eggs are laid singly in soil or rotting wood. (See video of oviposition
--Flickr). Mydas larvae prey on beetle larvae, esp. those of June beetles. Larvae pupate close to soil (or wood?) surface. Illustration of larva and pupa:
Adults are active only in mid-summer. Mating system in this species unknown. Different Mydas species apparently have different mating systems, including resource-defense polygyny and "hilltopping". (See Preston-Mafham, p. 99, (1)
of certain spider wasps (Pompilidae), e.g., Anoplius
- - >
Arnett, American Insects, p. 876 (2)
Borror and White, plate 13 (3)
Deyrup, p. 135--color photo (5)
Milne and Milne plate 459 (6)
Swan and Papp describe and illustrate the adult, larva, and pupa (fig. 1303) (7)
Univ. of Arkansas Arthropod Museum--Mydas clavatus