Wasp Mimics

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The insect diversity in our yard has increased significantly each year since adding native plants.

My husband spotted this black and yellow wasp mimic just this weekend perched on some foliage.
Xylomya terminalis

It's actually a fly dressed like a parasitic wasp. A Xylomyid Fly (Xylomya terminalis), it lays eggs under bark or in wet wood where its larvae develop and "feed on the larvae of other insects" (Insects Their Natural History and Diversity). I would suspect that its larvae are parasitized by Ichneumon wasps.

The second wasp mimic spotted recently in the yard was a Stilt-Legged Fly (Rainieria antennaepes). These tiny long legged flies even have a thread waist like a wasp. "...this species waves its white-tipped front legs much the way wasps wave their antennae." "Stilt-legged flies are easy to watch, since they frequent exposed leaves and other surfaces where curious naturalists can get an eyeful of their strange sex lives." (Insects Their Natural History and Diversity)