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larose forest photos | profile | all galleries >> INSECTS (INSECTA) (28 Galleries) >> Flies (Diptera) >> Robber Flies (Family: Asilidae) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Robber Flies (Family: Asilidae)

New images are at the beginning.

I have read that there are about 1,000 species of robber flies in North America! No wonder I have trouble identifying them to species. I find this family of flies quite remarkable, particularly the astonishingly bumblebee-like members,usually in the Genus Laphria. Robber flies are exceptionally variable and range from enormous specimens (Proctacanthus) to tiny little midge-like flies (Holcocephala abdominalis). You will often see robber flies sitting on perches waiting for some hapless victim to pass by, and when they do, they will rush out, nab them and take them back to their perch. They quickly subdue their prey, even the big wasps that the very large robber flies take. They excel as predators as the following photos show, for many depict the robber fly with prey.

Robber Flies have tufts of hair on their face, called a mystax, and this is characteristic of the family, making them pretty easy to identify, at least to family (Asilidae).

Robber fly (Efferia sp.)
Robber fly (Efferia sp.)
Robber fly (Machimus notatus)
Robber fly (Machimus notatus)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus)
Robber fly (Machimus sp.)
Robber fly (Machimus sp.)
Robber fly (Neoitamus )
Robber fly (Neoitamus )
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Mating robber flies (Asilidae)
Mating robber flies (Asilidae)
Let me in!  Robber fly (Asilidae)
Let me in! Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae) with rose chafer beetle (Macrodactylus)
Robber fly (Asilidae) with rose chafer beetle (Macrodactylus)
Robber fly (Asilidae) with prey
Robber fly (Asilidae) with prey
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae)
Robber flies (Asilidae)
Robber flies (Asilidae)
Robber fly (Asilidae) with prey
Robber fly (Asilidae) with prey
Robber Fly (Cyrtopogon falto)
Robber Fly (Cyrtopogon falto)
Robber fly (Dioctria hyalipennis)
Robber fly (Dioctria hyalipennis)
Robber fly (Dioctria sp.)
Robber fly (Dioctria sp.)
Robber fly (Dioctria sp.)
Robber fly (Dioctria sp.)
Very tiny Robber fly  (Holcocephala abdominalis)
Very tiny Robber fly (Holcocephala abdominalis)
Robber fly (Laphria)  with wasp
Robber fly (Laphria) with wasp
Robber fly (Laphria)
Robber fly (Laphria)
Robber fly (Laphria sp. ), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp. ), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumble bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumble bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria)  with prey.
Robber fly (Laphria) with prey.
Side view of robber fly (Laphria) with prey, looking more bumblebee like!
Side view of robber fly (Laphria) with prey, looking more bumblebee like!
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Leptogaster flavipes)
Robber fly (Leptogaster flavipes)
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator) with Tiger beetle prey
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator) with Tiger beetle prey
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
Robber fly(Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly(Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly  (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator) with dogwood twig borer beetle
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator) with dogwood twig borer beetle
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator)
Robber fly (Laphria sadales)
Robber fly (Laphria sadales)
Robber fly, possibly Laphria sericea
Robber fly, possibly Laphria sericea
Robber fly (Laphria sericea)
Robber fly (Laphria sericea)
Robber fly (Laphria sericea) with beetle. Another bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sericea) with beetle. Another bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sericea)
Robber fly (Laphria sericea)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.) with wasp
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.) with wasp
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.)
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.) with wasp
Robber fly (Proctacanthus sp.) with wasp
Robber fly (Laphria) with wasp
Robber fly (Laphria) with wasp