Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
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Subject: Parasitic fuzzy black bee?
Location: San Antonio, TX
August 27, 2015 1:01 pm
Hello,
I hope this letter finds you well. I was in my back yard yesterday afternoon, in san antonio, TX, when I stumbled across a large, fuzzy, black, winged insect. It looks almost like a bee and had a large wasp under it. I was thinking a parasite of some sort? Thanks for your help!
Signature: – T

Belzebul Bee Eater

Belzebul Bee Eater

Dear T,
We want to begin by correcting your terminology.  A parasite lives in or on the body of a host creature, feeding on blood or other forms of nutrition that the body can offer.  A parasitoid is all of the above, but it also kills the host while feeding.  A predator catches and eats prey, and your image is of a predatory Robber Fly, the Belzebul Bee Eater,
Mallophora leschenaulti, but we are uncertain of the identity of the prey as your image is lacking in critical detail.

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Subject: Assassin bug?
Location: Beavercreek, OH
August 24, 2015 3:18 am
This bug landed at our table at our local pool. It was carrying a bee & sat there for a few minutes with it’s stinger in the bees head feeding on it.
Signature: Kerry

Hanging Thief eats Robber Fly

Hanging Thief eats Robber Fly

Dear Kerry,
This is not an Assassin Bug.  It is a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, a group known as the Hanging Thieves because they often hang from one leg while feeding.  They take prey on the wing, and this unfortunate Honey Bee stood no chance against such a formidable predator.  While Hanging Thieves and other Robber Flies are considered beneficial predators, they do not distinguish between eating beneficial pollinators and agricultural nuisance insects.  The mouth of the Hanging Thief is adapted to pierce and suck fluids from the body of the prey.  Hanging Thieves do not sting.

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Subject: Is this related to a dragonfly?
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
August 23, 2015 9:18 pm
I live in the hill country of South Texas (west of Austin) and saw this while watching my humming birds on the back porch. At first I thought it was some sort of a dragon fly but after a closer look realized it wasn’t but have never seen something like this especially with the fuzzy tail.
Signature: Diana

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Diana,
This Robber Fly in the family Asilidae is not even closely related to Dragonflies, but they are both predators that catch prey on the wing, which may have resulted in some evolutionary similarities.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Efferia, perhaps in the Albibarbis group which is pictured on BugGuide.  There are many nice images of Robber Flies from the genus Efferia on Greg Lasley Nature Photography.

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

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Subject: Curious what this is…
Location: Kansas City, MO
August 14, 2015 2:34 pm
Dear Sir,
Was working on a log pole bed with my son in our driveway when I spotted this land on our railing. Any idea what this is? I appreciate your help because I can’t even begin to conceive of a description for the Internet that would yield the answer .
Signature: Thanks, William

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear William,
Several predatory Robber Flies have marvelous and descriptive common names and your individual has one of the best.  It is a Red Footed Cannibalfly and your images beautifully document the red feet.

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Thank you Daniel. Apparently it was “two for one day” that day, because later the same day my wife and I also had our first encounter in the garage with an insect that scared the hell out of us. So I was able to look that one up, and at first I thought it was a Gasteruption Jaculator, but when I read the range for that animal is Europe only, I kept looking and found the Giant Ichneumon on your site. So after learning she’s harmless to humans, I went back in the garage and got her on my hand, and took her out to an old dead stump on our front drive that I’m saving for some woodwork. She probably found plenty of food in there for her young!
When the Red Footed Cannibalfly happen along, I went right back to your website, but I had to ask because I didn’t even know how to begin describing that one in writing.
Thanks again,
Wm

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Subject: Cannibalfly?
Location: Split, Croatia
August 9, 2015 1:51 pm
Hi, I took this picture today on my balcony. I live in Split, Croatia. What kind of bug is that (tha one that eats) and is it normal to meet it in this area? Thank you!
Signature: Irena

Robber Fly and Prey

Robber Fly and Prey

Dear Irena,
The predator in your image is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We are uncertain of the species, or if it is native to Croatia, but this posting on Diptera Info indicates that members of the family are found in Croatia.

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Subject: Bee?
Location: Midland, Texas
July 31, 2015 11:16 am
This looks like a bee but the hairy legs and wings look strange.
Signature: TLW

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Dear TLW,
This magnificent predatory Robber Fly is a Bee Killer in the genus
Mallophora, and we believe we have correctly identified it as Mallophora fautrix by comparing your images to this image on BugGuide.

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

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