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Photo#115001
Robber fly - Ospriocerus

Robber fly - Ospriocerus
Stansbury island, Tooele County, Utah, USA
June 3, 2007
Size: Approximately 1"

Images of this individual: tag all
Robber fly - Ospriocerus Robber fly - Ospriocerus Robber fly - Ospriocerus

You guys
And your big beautiful western robbers. Damn. This is in that tribe Stenopogonini with the genera Stenopogon and Scleropogon (see the recent BC robber). California is the wonderland for this group. Though I don't think anyone in that state has shot one. I am betting this dark red and black beauty is in Ospriocerus (also rich in TX). And there are five of these in Utah. It is not minos which is entirely black. It is not longulus, which has reddish-yellow legs and abdomen. And it is not latipennis which has a yellowish thorax. Leaving vallensis (I know nothing of this species). And the other that I am betting it is: Ospriocerus aeacus. I will have Dr. Fisher take a look at this one also.

 
Names
Please continue to use O. abdominalis for this species. And ignore the last name for now please. And this could be vallensis as well.

 
Very awesome.
It does look pretty similar to the fly which you had also concluded was Ospriocerus aeacus shown here http://bugguide.net/node/view/24842/bgpage . Where might I obtain descriptions of and lists of those likely to be found in Utah? I found a list of those in Idaho. I am going to have to pay more attention to all of the robber flies that I have been seeing. I have been thinking that the large gray robber flies are all the same. A pair of gray robber flies that I found that same day were mating while facing the same direction which tells me it is probably different then those that have been facing the opposite direction. What are the main diagnostic characters to look for? One last question; Are there any of the yellow and black bee/hornet look alikes that can be found in Utah? Thanks .

Brian Nielsen

 
Great information, Herschel,
I guess I stand a chance of seeing these, since also in CA.

 
CA
In CA there are three species of Ospriocerus which tend to be focused in AZ NM TX. And four Scleropogon. But CA and Baja have all fifty plus Stenopogon species. Only nine of those species occur outside your state at all. A huge endemic list.

 
WOW!
Well, CA is also big in endemic plant species...

But what a spectacular one!
Herschel will no doubt lead you to an ID.