I saw this scene in one of my gardens today. Gross!! Yet I was oddly fascinated. This is a Southern Bee Killer (Mallophora orcina), one of a group of insects called Robber Flies. He was dining on this hapless honey bee, and didn’t seem to mind me standing one foot away with my camera.
I am almost finished with a book called Life In The Soil (Nardi, 2007), and this is what it says about robber flies:
Robber flies can be considered the thugs of the flies, pouncing on prey as large as grasshoppers and dragonflies or as threatening as stinging bees and wasps. The larvae will attack beetle grubs that are twice their size.
Hmm. A fly thug. Ya think?