Thick-headed Fly   (four photos)
Physocephala texana

Physocephala texana
Since I hadn't seen one of these since 2008, my first thought
was it might be a Potter Wasp because of the strangely-shaped
abdomen.  With a quick look through the binoculars, though,
I knew what
it was.  Carol Davis 7-9-2018

thick-headed fly
This one was protecting its territory in Red Butte Garden,
Salt Lake County, Utah.  Carol Davis 7-9-2018

fly end
Unfortunately, the larvae of these flies are parasitoids of
bees, as explained below. Carol Davis,

 thick-headed fly
This beautiful parastitic insect is a Thick-headed Fly I found on Antelope
Island.  They lay their
eggs in the abdomen of stinging insects.  According to
Wikipedia, they do this as they are flying--similar to an Air Force refueling
 maneuver but with dire consequences.  The eggs hatch and the larvae feed
inside the host.  Thankfully, the adults also pollinate flowers by feeding on
nectar and that's when we get to see them parading around in bee- or wasp-like
attire, looking all gussied-up for photographers.   Carol Davis, 6-22-2008

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