A bee fly. Not Hemipenthes sinuosa but perhaps Anthrax analis
The darner the other day is still the only ode I've seen so far this season. So I'll take this opportunity to post this excellent shot of a bee fly my friend Dr. Steve took last summer here in Michigan. Diptera are multitudinous, and I am, after all, an ornithologist, so I had no idea how to identify this one. But my particular jones is that I have to name and/or count just about all living creatures I encounter (a curse I'll have to write about one day). It wasn't until I was trying to identify another type of fly now buzzing about my study plot that I finally came across a photo that finally allowed me to pin a name on Steve's bug (to my great relief). I am fairly certain of the species, and even more confident of the genus. Comments from more knowledgeable dipterologists are welcome!
UPDATE: After contemplating this fly, with it's white-tipped abdomen, I decided I had been smug too soon. This was confirmed by Giff Beaton, ode guru of Georgia (who has a great page on bee flies), who wrote to me:
Among Michigan Bombyliidae, I've now settled upon Anthrax analis based upon this one lonely photo.
"I think it's very likely to be Hemipenthes, but I don't think it's sinuosa. That is a pretty common species here, and I have never seen one with a white-tipped abdomen. Definitely not Ogdocera, either..."