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There’s always something new to learn even when I thought I knew what I knew!  Each time I’ve visited the prairie recently I’ve seen a large black and yellow bumblebee-looking insect sitting on a stick, flying off and returning to the same stick.  I initially thought it might be a robber fly for they do similar behavior, at least they did at my house.  However, when I looked up robber flies, they looked significantly different. Bigger eyes, stiff proboscis (mouth parts) and only 2 wings.

Robber fly with bee prey
© 2018 Karen A Johnson

So…what was this creature?  Turns out it’s a male bumblebee guarding its territory.  Since there are many different bumblebee species and each one seems to vary in color, I won’t hazard a guess as to what species this is.  It was quite large though and seemed unhappy with me getting too close so I gave it a wide berth.

Bee guarding
© 2018 Karen A Johnson

Bee Landing
© 2018 Karen A Johnson

Here’s some other insects I found as I was searching for my Calico Pennant Dragonfly, from my previous post.