At first glance, it looks like a bumblebee has captured another bumblebee, pretty unusual for an animal whose typical diet is pollen and nectar. But, this bumble mimicking fly is an extremely capable (and seemingly always hungry) predator. Their “bearded” face is one way to recognize these insects as robber flies, as well as the concave top of the head between the eyes. Adults often sit on a perch, waiting for a flying insect to pass by. As fast and agile hunters, robbers easily dash out to intercept their next meal in mid-flight.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 8/8/20 in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.