Who Wore It Better?

Who wore it better yellowjacket3

The Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis, is a biological mimic. It reaps all the benefits (if you call making small children scream a benefit) of being a stinging insect without actually having to expend the energy to make venom. Specifically, this hover fly mimics the Southern Yellow Jacket, Vespula squamosa. However, the whole hover fly family is full of mimics, with copycat species for wasps and hornets from all over the world. They say you can tell a hover fly from a wasp because hover flies have two wings, while bees and wasps have four. I confess, though, I’ve never been one to stand around counting wings when I think a sting might be imminent.