What is this insect?

Asked July 10, 2017, 7:46 PM EDT

I have seen this insect in my garden twice recently. It is quite large, almost 1.5" long. Can you identify it and tell me whether it is a pest or beneficial? Thank you.

Cecil County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a type of Mydas fly, which are our largest flies. They are often mistaken for wasps but are harmless to humans.
The larval stage live in mostly rotting wood and are apparently predatory on beetle grubs.