Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black fly/cicada thing?
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
December 5, 2015 12:28 am
Dear Mr. Bugman, I live in Newcastle NSW Australia where summer is just kicking off and I recently stumbled upon this demonic looking critter. It was first hanging off a leaf in my garden where I noticed it had a dark blue shine on its back. It’s eyes were a little apart and it had lots of tiny hairs around it’s snout? There was also a jagged edged plate looking thing beneath its belly. After hours of browsing I’m still not totally convinced it’s a female horsefly despite it being the most similar description I could find. If you could confirm what this creature actually is for me it would be much appreciated, it looks like such a fascinating creature. Thanks
Signature: Dom

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Hi Dom,
This is a very exciting submission for us.  Though Cicadas are frequently mistaken for flies, and though Australia does have a great diversity of Cicadas with creative common names, this is a True Fly, though not a Horse Fly.  We are relatively certain it is a Giant Blue Robber Fly,
Blepharotes spendidissimus, and though we are not 100% certain of the species, we are confident that the genus is correct.  We do not believe this is the closely related and even larger Giant Yellow Robber Fly.  The Brisbane Insect site has nice images of the Giant Blue Robber Fly and there are not many other images found online.  The individual pictured on Oz Animals appears to be a male, and we are relatively certain your individual is a female.  We believe this other individual from New South Wales that is in our archives is most probably Blepharotes spendidissimus as well.

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Grey Forest, Texas
November 8, 2015 11:28 am
We live near San Antonio, Texas and have seen this fellow a couple of times. He behaves somewhat like a robber fly, but I could not find a robber fly that looks like him. He is very hairy and quite large, as you can see in comparison to the red wasp. Red wasps are about an inch and a half long. He is quite noisy and slow in flight.
Signature: Dylan Tobe

Belzebul Bee-Eater eats Red Wasp

Belzebul Bee-Eater eats Red Wasp

Dear Dylan,
This impressive Robber Fly is a Belzebul Bee-Eater,
Mallophora leschenaulti, a magnificent predator that is capable of catching on wing and eating large stinging insects.  We are very proud of some images in our archives of the courtship activity of Belzebul Bee Eaters.  We are also noting that your images indicate they were taken in August, and not in November.

Dear Daniel:  Thank you for responding so quickly.  Yes, correct, we took the picture this summer, but just found your site today.  Dylan

Now that you found us, you should visit more often.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s This Bug?
Location: Central Alabama
September 12, 2015 3:43 pm
I’m in central Alabama and saw this amazing bug today and would love to know his name. I have photos to help with the I.D.
He was about 1 1/4 inch long. Two black compound eyes. Four brown and black hairy legs. A proboscis, and a stinger-like projectile from his rear end. A segmented thorax. He had a medium to light brown body.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Signature: Barbara Bryan

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Barbara,
We really love posting images of Red Footed Cannibalflies, a predatory Robber Fly found in the eastern U.S. that appears from mid to late summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: My morning mailbox surprise
Location: Dayton, OH
September 3, 2015 5:47 am
Good morning! Today, this little guy was waiting to ask me how badly I really wanted to check the mail today. He hung around long enough for me to get a couple of pictures, did an impressive flyby in the general direction of my face, and took off.
I don’t know if it’s at all relevant, but there was also a large house centipede behind the mailbox, which was another first.
Signature: Amorette

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Amorette,
We don’t believe there is any connection between the House Centipede and the Hanging Thief, a large predatory Robber Fly.  Hanging Thieves, though predators, tend to take prey on the wing and House Centipedes would not be part of their diet.  They often feed while dangling from a single leg, hence the common name Hanging Thief.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: insects mating
Location: knoxville tn
September 3, 2015 4:26 pm
Just wondering if you have any idea of what these bugs are that appear to be mating in my back yard?
Signature: a meredith

Mating Red Footed Cannibalflies

Mating Red Footed Cannibalflies

Dear a meredith,
Thanks to the window glass, you were able to provide us with a thrilling ventral view of a pair of mating Red Footed Cannibalflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber fly?
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
August 28, 2015 6:54 am
Came across this beauty while on my morning walk. I think it’s some sort of robber fly? He/she was quite large (the reason it caught my eye) and not interested in moving even when I brushed it with a blade of grass. It was early morning so maybe still sleepy? Anyway, I’d love to know what to call it the next time I see one.
Thanks so much!
Signature: Barb

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Barb,
Your Robber Fly looks like a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, to us.  We generally get several identification requests for this magnificent predator each summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination