Late last summer I had this odd fly perching in my yard. It was fairly large, and very conspicuous.
This fly is known as a Robber Fly, from the family Asilidae. I'm not sure of the exact species.
Like many of the insects and bugs I've profiled, this one is a voracious predator. Robber flies are known to even attack larger bees and wasps! In fact, some robber flies will even take on dragonflies.
They use their spiny legs to help clutch their prey, and then will literally suck the prey to death.
As always, I welcome any assistance in identifying the species.