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Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

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  • Charles
    hello all. out walking the pups forces seasonal daily observing opportunities outdoors. Only because of the large prey insect being carried in flight...this
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 9, 2012
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      hello all. out walking the pups forces seasonal daily observing opportunities outdoors.

      Only because of the large prey insect being carried in flight...this 'bumble-bee' caught my attention.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beemonitoring/photos/album/514481673/pic/46651


      I have no idea if my link to the forum photo album "charlie g" works, but this is where I placed the point&shoot images of this 'bumble-bee mimick'.

      Are these insects common...I never before encountered one in all my years of outdoor activities?

      Are there 'predatory mimicks' of smaller bee species?

      thanks for any comments, a good summer season/good growth season for all of us. charlie guevara,fingerlakes/CNY.
    • David Inouye
      I ve seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 9, 2012
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        I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

        Emacs!
      • Matthias Buck
        Hi David, That s a robber fly in the genus Laphria. Cheers, Matthias ... -- Dr. Matthias Buck Invertebrate Zoology Royal Alberta Museum 12845-102nd Avenue
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 9, 2012
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          Hi David,

          That's a robber fly in the genus Laphria.

          Cheers,

                         Matthias

          On Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 12:07 PM, David Inouye <inouye@...> wrote:
           

          I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

          Emacs!




          --
          Dr. Matthias Buck
          Invertebrate Zoology
          Royal Alberta Museum
          12845-102nd Avenue
          Edmonton, Alberta
          Canada, T5N 0M6
          Phone: (780) 453-9122
          www.royalalbertamuseum.ca
        • Jack Neff
          The Laphriinae (Asilidae) is chock full of bee mimics with, as Matthias noted,  many bumble bee mimics in the genus Laphria.  Check out the Laphriine page on
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 9, 2012
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            The Laphriinae (Asilidae) is chock full of bee mimics with, as Matthias noted,  many bumble bee mimics in the genus Laphria.  Check out the Laphriine page on Bug Guide for a sample of the diversity in this group.  

            best

            Jack
             
            John L. Neff
            Central Texas Melittological Institute
            7307 Running Rope
            Austin,TX 78731 USA
            512-345-7219

            From: Matthias Buck <buckmb@...>
            To: David Inouye <inouye@...>
            Cc: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 1:11 PM
            Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

             
            Hi David,

            That's a robber fly in the genus Laphria.

            Cheers,

                           Matthias

            On Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 12:07 PM, David Inouye <inouye@...> wrote:
             
            I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

            Emacs!



            --
            Dr. Matthias Buck
            Invertebrate Zoology
            Royal Alberta Museum
            12845-102nd Avenue
            Edmonton, Alberta
            Canada, T5N 0M6
            Phone: (780) 453-9122
            www.royalalbertamuseum.ca


          • Liz Day
            ... 9,500 feet in Colorado: I think that s an asilid. Ones that look similar (all black and yellow) were common when I was in northeastern Illinois. So yes I
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 9, 2012
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              >I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at
              9,500 feet in Colorado:

              I think that's an asilid. Ones that look similar (all black and
              yellow) were common when I was in northeastern Illinois. So yes I
              think they can be common. I often see them in bumblebee collections too.

              Liz Day
              Indiana USA
            • Charles Guevara
                thanks for the direction to an ID, Doug.   http://xa.yimg.com/kg/groups/17598545/sn/466515752/name/042jpg          err...please try this link?!! 
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
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                  thanks for the direction to an ID, Doug.   http://xa.yimg.com/kg/groups/17598545/sn/466515752/name/042jpg    
                 
                   err...please try this link?!!  (thanks,Sam.)   charlie guevara, fingerlakes/CNY

                From: Doug Sponsler <bugguy89@...>
                To: Charles <icecilliate123@...>
                Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 1:00 PM
                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                Hi Charles,

                I was unable to view the picture in your email, but what you are describing sounds like one of the bee-mimicking robber flies (family Asilidae, genus Laphria). Very neat group. There is a common one in my area that is a very convincing bumblebee mimic. Not sure what species it is, but here is some information on the genus: http://bugguide.net/node/view/5234/bgpage

                Doug

                From: Charles <icecilliate123@...>
                To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 12:40 PM
                Subject: [beemonitoring] Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                 
                hello all. out walking the pups forces seasonal daily observing opportunities outdoors.

                Only because of the large prey insect being carried in flight...this 'bumble-bee' caught my attention.

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beemonitoring/photos/album/514481673/pic/46651

                I have no idea if my link to the forum photo album "charlie g" works, but this is where I placed the point&shoot images of this 'bumble-bee mimick'.

                Are these insects common...I never before encountered one in all my years of outdoor activities?

                Are there 'predatory mimicks' of smaller bee species?

                thanks for any comments, a good summer season/good growth season for all of us. charlie guevara,fingerlakes/CNY.





              • Charles Guevara
                   thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it s a robber fly.   my CNY specimen
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
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                     thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it's a robber fly.
                   
                  my CNY specimen has bands of yellow 'fur' with no orange color, no yellow bristles on the appendages, similar setting of the compound eyes (but the individual ocular lens more more distinct in the compound eyes), similar short antenae.
                   
                     I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style?  For prey I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which Bombus is prominent and active in?  Now I have to observe in the fields and meadows if butter flys are wary and retreat from a forageing Bombus, vrs no reaction to close forageing bumble bees.  Certainly the various bees, wasps, hornets which I encounter in the fields/in the orchard...well they ignore one another even when 'working' the save flower.
                   
                     So much invested in the appearance/the flight behavior of bumble-bees...I wonder if this predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?
                   
                     thanks for the comments...sorry I can not link to the forum photo album:"charlie g trys to do it".  charlie guevara,fingerlakes/US

                  From: David Inouye <inouye@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 2:07 PM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                  I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

                  Emacs!




                • Charles Guevara
                  ________________________________ From: Charles Guevara To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
                  • 1 Attachment
                  • 770 KB

                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:43 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                     thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it's a robber fly.
                   
                  my CNY specimen has bands of yellow 'fur' with no orange color, no yellow bristles on the appendages, similar setting of the compound eyes (but the individual ocular lens more more distinct in the compound eyes), similar short antenae.
                   
                     I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style?  For prey I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which Bombus is prominent and active in?  Now I have to observe in the fields and meadows if butter flys are wary and retreat from a forageing Bombus, vrs no reaction to close forageing bumble bees.  Certainly the various bees, wasps, hornets which I encounter in the fields/in the orchard...well they ignore one another even when 'working' the save flower.
                   
                     So much invested in the appearance/the flight behavior of bumble-bees...I wonder if this predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?
                   
                     thanks for the comments...sorry I can not link to the forum photo album:"charlie g trys to do it".  charlie guevara,fingerlakes/US

                  From: David Inouye <inouye@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 2:07 PM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                  I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

                  Emacs!






                • Charles Guevara
                  ________________________________ From: Charles Guevara To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                  Message 9 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
                  • 1 Attachment
                  • 793 KB

                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:43 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                     thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it's a robber fly.
                   
                  my CNY specimen has bands of yellow 'fur' with no orange color, no yellow bristles on the appendages, similar setting of the compound eyes (but the individual ocular lens more more distinct in the compound eyes), similar short antenae.
                   
                     I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style?  For prey I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which Bombus is prominent and active in?  Now I have to observe in the fields and meadows if butter flys are wary and retreat from a forageing Bombus, vrs no reaction to close forageing bumble bees.  Certainly the various bees, wasps, hornets which I encounter in the fields/in the orchard...well they ignore one another even when 'working' the save flower.
                   
                     So much invested in the appearance/the flight behavior of bumble-bees...I wonder if this predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?
                   
                     thanks for the comments...sorry I can not link to the forum photo album:"charlie g trys to do it".  charlie guevara,fingerlakes/US

                  From: David Inouye <inouye@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 2:07 PM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                  I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

                  Emacs!






                • Charles Guevara
                  ________________________________ From: Charles Guevara To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                  Message 10 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
                  • 1 Attachment
                  • 842 KB

                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:46 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise? [1 Attachment]

                  [Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara included below]


                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:43 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                     thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it's a robber fly.
                   
                  my CNY specimen has bands of yellow 'fur' with no orange color, no yellow bristles on the appendages, similar setting of the compound eyes (but the individual ocular lens more more distinct in the compound eyes), similar short antenae.
                   
                     I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style?  For prey I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which Bombus is prominent and active in?  Now I have to observe in the fields and meadows if butter flys are wary and retreat from a forageing Bombus, vrs no reaction to close forageing bumble bees.  Certainly the various bees, wasps, hornets which I encounter in the fields/in the orchard...well they ignore one another even when 'working' the save flower.
                   
                     So much invested in the appearance/the flight behavior of bumble-bees...I wonder if this predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?
                   
                     thanks for the comments...sorry I can not link to the forum photo album:"charlie g trys to do it".  charlie guevara,fingerlakes/US

                  From: David Inouye <inouye@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 2:07 PM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                  I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

                  Emacs!







                  Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara
                  1 of 1 Photo(s)


                • Charles Guevara
                  ________________________________ From: Charles Guevara To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                  Message 11 of 14 , Jun 10, 2012
                  • 1 Attachment
                  • 830 KB

                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:50 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise? [1 Attachment]

                  [Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara included below]


                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:46 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise? [1 Attachment]

                  [Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara included below]


                  From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
                  To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:43 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                     thanks, David and Doug...the images I captured (eegad...to link to the forum photos...what is going on?!)...indeed it's a robber fly.
                   
                  my CNY specimen has bands of yellow 'fur' with no orange color, no yellow bristles on the appendages, similar setting of the compound eyes (but the individual ocular lens more more distinct in the compound eyes), similar short antenae.
                   
                     I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style?  For prey I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which Bombus is prominent and active in?  Now I have to observe in the fields and meadows if butter flys are wary and retreat from a forageing Bombus, vrs no reaction to close forageing bumble bees.  Certainly the various bees, wasps, hornets which I encounter in the fields/in the orchard...well they ignore one another even when 'working' the save flower.
                   
                     So much invested in the appearance/the flight behavior of bumble-bees...I wonder if this predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?
                   
                     thanks for the comments...sorry I can not link to the forum photo album:"charlie g trys to do it".  charlie guevara,fingerlakes/US

                  From: David Inouye <inouye@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 2:07 PM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                  I've seen a robber fly that was a decent bumble bee mimic, here at 9,500 feet in Colorado:

                  Emacs!







                  Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara
                  1 of 1 Photo(s)



                  Attachment(s) from Charles Guevara
                  1 of 1 Photo(s)


                • Liz Day
                  ... I had thought the mimicry was directed at predators of the robber fly such as birds, since the fly spends a lot of time sitting on leaves. Liz Day
                  Message 12 of 14 , Jun 11, 2012
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                    > I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this
                    > mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style? For prey
                    > I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which
                    > Bombus is prominent and active in? ..... .I wonder if this
                    > predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?

                    I had thought the mimicry was "directed" at predators of the robber
                    fly such as birds, since the fly spends a lot of time sitting on leaves.

                    Liz Day
                    Indianapolis
                    USA
                  • Jack Neff
                    I ve always assumed the Bombus mimicking asilids are Batesian mimics given where they hang out and what kind of potential prey items are available. Usually
                    Message 13 of 14 , Jun 11, 2012
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                      I've always assumed the Bombus mimicking asilids are Batesian mimics given where they hang out and what kind of potential prey items are available. Usually they take prey that are significantly smaller than they are our and local bumble bees, mainly B. pensylvanicus,  rarely qualify.

                      best

                      Jack
                       
                      John L. Neff
                      Central Texas Melittological Institute
                      7307 Running Rope
                      Austin,TX 78731 USA
                      512-345-7219

                      From: Liz Day <lizday44@...>
                      To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 3:01 PM
                      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                       

                      > I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this
                      > mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style? For prey
                      > I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which
                      > Bombus is prominent and active in? ..... .I wonder if this
                      > predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?

                      I had thought the mimicry was "directed" at predators of the robber
                      fly such as birds, since the fly spends a lot of time sitting on leaves.

                      Liz Day
                      Indianapolis
                      USA



                    • Charles Guevara
                         Thanks all for fleshing out my delightful first-time encounter with that predatory robber-fly bumble-bee mimic .      Thanks Liz and Jack for the
                      Message 14 of 14 , Jun 13, 2012
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                           Thanks all for fleshing out my delightful first-time encounter with that predatory robber-fly 'bumble-bee mimic'.
                         
                           Thanks Liz and Jack for the mention of 'Batesian mimicry' to enhance my understanding of this 'mimic in my meadows, and orchard'.
                         
                           The very reason I noticed this mimic is the relatively large size of it's captured prey organism ( I hope my attached images open in my recent posts?).
                         
                        I doubt I was encountering an anomalus prey capture by this mimic. (of course who can say wether it was an anomalus prey capture event?!)  A thoughtful poster did mention in this thread that Bombus possibly might be prey for this genus.
                         
                           My thoughts are that the rather accurate simulation of bumblebee flight-forageing style would enhance prey capture...because of prey which are not reactive to Bombus approaches...these insects would not defensively flee from a predatory 'bumblebee mimic'.   Serious fieldwork required to flesh out a statement such as I just made. 
                         
                           My personal field observations, and pursuit of this field work will enhance my seasonal outdoor chores , thanks for all the useful comments.
                         
                           Thank you Liz and Jack for drawing  my attention to speculations  of dual selective value for a predator ( a predatory insect which blends in with a flowers anatomical structures both has relative defense from it's visual predators...and enhanced efficiency at prey capture of visually keen prey organisms)...my speculations of dual selective value ( Batsian mimicry driver regarding my meadows Eastern Blue birds insectivory...etc. predatory pressures [do bumblebees really have a free pass against predation...or is it so, as one poster to this thread speculated, these bumblebee-mimics' may include Bombus in their range of prey organisms?]...Batesian mimicry selective pressure drivers+ enhanced predation efficiency drivers offer my first time encounter with this 'predatory robber-fly bumblebee-mimic' ...such a fascination! Thanks for your comments, and for your directions for me to pursue.  all the best, charlie guevara, fingerlakes/US

                        From: Jack Neff <jlnatctmi@...>
                        To: Liz Day <lizday44@...>; "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 6:16 PM
                        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?



                        I've always assumed the Bombus mimicking asilids are Batesian mimics given where they hang out and what kind of potential prey items are available. Usually they take prey that are significantly smaller than they are our and local bumble bees, mainly B. pensylvanicus,  rarely qualify.

                        best

                        Jack
                         
                        John L. Neff
                        Central Texas Melittological Institute
                        7307 Running Rope
                        Austin,TX 78731 USA
                        512-345-7219
                        From: Liz Day <lizday44@...>
                        To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 3:01 PM
                        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Are predatory 'bumble-bee mimicks' common? please advise?

                         

                        > I'll enjoy trying to find literature on the drivers to this
                        > mimickry, why mimic Bombus appearance and flight style? For prey
                        > I'd guess which are visually wary, for prey in the environs which
                        > Bombus is prominent and active in? ..... .I wonder if this
                        > predicts a lot about the mimics prefered prey?

                        I had thought the mimicry was "directed" at predators of the robber
                        fly such as birds, since the fly spends a lot of time sitting on leaves.

                        Liz Day
                        Indianapolis
                        USA







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