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

Subject: Flying insect
Location: Canarian island
September 17, 2016 4:05 am
I foundation this insect on my Windows in Gran Canaria
Thatcher insect is +/- 4cm long.
It is dangerous?
Signature: Insect

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

This is a Robber Fly, and here is a very similar looking individual posted to Getty Images.  While a large Robber Fly might bite a person if it is carelessly handled, they are not aggressive towards humans, but they are predators that frequently hunt on the wing.  Based on this Alamy image, your individual might be Promachus latitarsatus.  The species is also pictured on Biodiversidad Virtual, and an image on Diptera Info shows a large Robber Fly eating a Dragonfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant fly/bee thing?
Location: Maryland
September 10, 2016 5:28 am
Today on my bus route I had an unexpected passenger. I live in Maryland and we had a heat index of 108 at the time. He/she was a very loud flyer and looks like a cross between a bee and a fly and did not seem to want to go outside. Please help me identify him/her.
Signature: Notsocrazy

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Notsocrazy,
This predatory Robber Fly is commonly called a Red Footed Cannibalfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Black & White Bee?
Location: West Los Angeles
September 4, 2016 1:27 pm
Hi Bugman,
Found this creature clinging to a milkweed plant early one morning. Can you tell me what it is?
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Dear Jeff,
This is not a Bee, but rather a Bee Killer, one of the Robber Flies in the genus
Mallophora.  The only member of the genus currently known from California is Mallophora fautrix, and according to BugGuide, its range is “sw. US (CA-TX-UT) & Mexico.”  Genus characteristics, according to BugGuide, are “Large, fuzzy, bee-mimicking robber flies” and “Predatory on other insects, including large bees, wasps.”  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Demon Insect?!
Location: United States
September 2, 2016 2:01 pm
It’s huge, at least 4.5 inches long, it looks like a dragonfly mixed with a wasp with a fluffy mane, it’s obviously carnivorous because it was just chilling on my porch eating up a wasp.
Signature: Audrey

Possibly Red Footed Cannibalfly eating Wasp

Possibly Red Footed Cannibalfly eating Wasp

Dear Audrey,
This is one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus
Promachus, and we suspect it might be a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  We also believe your size estimate is an exaggeration. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please identify the big bug in picture
Location: north Georgia mountains
August 26, 2016 6:03 am
Good morning. A friend took the attached photo earlier this week. and has given his explicit permission for me to do with it what I want, including sharing it/using it. Our community is in the North Georgia mountains, and my friend’s home is located in the lower elevations of the neighborhood, adjacent to the golf course.
There have been a lot of yellow-jackets in the area this year, so we’re happy that something might be attacking them. But, what in the heck is that big something?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to provide.
Signature: Edie

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Dear Edie,
The predator in the image is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, a large species of Robber Fly.  While Robber Flies might bite a person who carelessly tried to handle one, they are not aggressive towards humans.  The unnatural position of the wings of the Red Footed Cannibalfly in your image is somewhat disturbing, leading us to speculate that it is no longer alive and possibly the victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

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Subject: Archilestris magnificus
Location: Palominas, Arizona
August 25, 2016 7:37 pm
I actually found out what this guy was from your website when I first photographed it in 2013. Haven’t seen it since, until yesterday. First photo from 2013, second from yesterday, 8/24/2016. They seem to like being photographed, quite the posers!
Signature: mtnrow

Robber Fly:  Archilestris magnificus

Robber Fly: Archilestris magnificus

Dear mtnrow,
Thanks so much for providing us with documentation of two sightings of this magnificent Robber Fly,
Archilestris magnificus, a species we first posted back in 2007.

Robber Fly:  Archilestris magnificus

Robber Fly: Archilestris magnificus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination