Laphria saffrana was one of those robber flies that you look at in books and think "it would be nice to find one of those." It was in the first five species I located in Arkansas and I have seen it in six or seven counties now. The Deathshead Bumblethief in my own book, it has the black inverted pirate's skull on its back. No other Laphriinae looks like it. Lavigne's records show scarabs are taken by this species as well as bumblebees and wasps. Surely one of the most impressive robbers in the east.

The downed pine log is the best spot to find these guys. Fairly silent flight. Characteristically clicks its wings closed after a pause when landing.

This is a pair in copula. From my front yard. Which brings us all the way around from originally seeing this species in a book and wanting to see one to having them as springtime yard visitors. These were impressively wary while attached. Notable because they are not that skittish otherwise. Still a favorite insect.