I spotted these two in my garden. What is this insect? He had firm control over the wasp and was just hanging on by one leg. He appeared to hold on until the wasp stopped moving and then flew away with it.

I live in Ohio (USA). The wasp was a bit less than 2cm long while the other insect was about 2.5cm long.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Nice pic +1! What country do you live in? What privince/state/bundesland/etc.. do you live in? What size do they have approximatively? $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ I'm the United States, Ohio. The wasp was regular size, maybe 3/4 inch long and the other insect was slightly larger, maybe 1 inch long $\endgroup$
    – bburk707
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Given the large eyes, the almost non-existent antennae, the humped back, elongated abdomen and the wings, I'd say it is a robber fly.

enter image description here

It is one of many insects known to prey on wasps.

Note the description on the linked page:

This spindly piece of nastiness is a Robber Fly in the genus Diogmites. It seems that it's members of this particular genus that are adorned with the name Hanging Thief. You may remember that this was to denote their habit of dangling from a leg or two while the other limbs held onto prey, stabbed it to death with venom and then sucked out the insides. [Emphasis mine.]

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    $\begingroup$ Fun fact: They perform 'extra-oral digestion', meaning they extrude digestive enzymes onto/into their prey before ingesting them. Not so fun fact: Those enzymes burn. I had one of these land on my arm once and try to digest me. I do not recommend it. $\endgroup$
    – n_b
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 22:56
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting convergence with spiders: dangling system and extra-oral digestion. $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ @n_b I saw your username at the end of the post and did a double-take, thinking that it was some kind of an emoticon to express the pain. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, don’t know who gave a bounty, but thanks! Hope all is well. $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2018 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Charles gave you this bounty! $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:43

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