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

Subject: Wasp? Bee?
Location: Suwanee, GA
June 21, 2016 7:58 am
This beastie was resting on my mailbox. An inch long, maybe. No visible stinger.
Signature: Anthony Trendl

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Anthony,
Our money is on this being a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and many members of the family mimic bees and wasps, but alas, we have not had any luck with a conclusive species identification.  The closest match we could find is
Cyrtopogon lutatius pictured on BugGuide, and we suspect your “beastie” is closely related.  We will attempt to get a second opinion on this.

Eric Eaton provides feedback:
This is more likely an Atomosia sp.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/20268
Not uncommon in the eastern U.S., though you don’t say where it is from.
Eric

Thanks … I’ll look it up. I’m near Atlanta, in a burb just northeast of it. Suburbs but I have a lot of trees as creeks nearby.
I’d love to buy a book (books) focused on the fauna of this area. Any recommendations?
Tony

Hi Tony,
Specifically regional guide books are not that common.  We recommend The Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America.  A WTB? contributor, Eric Eaton is one of the authors.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Flying Bug
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
June 12, 2016 5:58 pm
I found this guy with a large bumblebee in its grasp. I searched extensively but got nowhere. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Nick

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Nick,
Large Robber Flies are arguably the most adept aerial predators in the insect world.  Dragonflies are larger, but they don’t tend to prey on larger insects, mainly satisfying themselves with mosquitoes and smaller prey.  Not so large Robber Flies that tend to prey on bees and wasps.  Your individual is a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, a species that begins to make a regular appearance among our identification requests beginning in June, and continuing through the hot summer months.  The Red Footed Cannibalfly is also called a Bee Panther.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp, Bug, or Something Else?
Location: Anacortes, WA
June 2, 2016 7:55 pm
This pretty thing was on a stump next to my kitchen garden this morning. It was about an inch long. Can anyone identify it, please?
Signature: Lorien Shaw

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Bee-Like Robber Fly

Dear Lorien,
This is one of the predatory Bee-Like Robber Flies in the genus
Laphria, and we believe it resembles Laphria columbica which is pictured on BugGuide, but we would not rule out another species like Laphria astur which is also pictured on BugGuide, or possibly another member of the genus.  Members of the genus found in the western portions of North America are pictured on swb.usachoice.net

After quite a bit of internet research, I had strong suspicion it was likely one of the predator critters, and I’m delighted to have a more specific direction for my queries.  Thanks so much for the assistance!
Els

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying Insect
Location: South Texas
May 8, 2016 10:56 am
I live in a rural area & saw the insect in the attached photo for the first time yesterday evening. Am hoping you can help to identify it.
Signature: Cindy

Male Robber Fly

Male Robber Fly

Dear Cindy,
We believe the tufts at the tip of the abdomen of the individual in your image indicate it is a male in the genus
Efferia, possibly Efferia albibarbis based on this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image.  Robber Flies are important predators that often take prey on the wing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber Fly, perhaps, with Prey, maybe?
Location: Coryell County, TX
April 6, 2016 12:05 am
Hello! This insect flew out of a rose bush and landed on the fence, holding prey, maybe? I found this on Bug Guide, but don’t know if it is the same. http://bugguide.net/node/view/5188
Clear skies, 80 degrees this afternoon.
Thank you and best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

Robber Fly eats Fly

Robber Fly eats Fly

Dear Ellen,
We always look forward to your submissions.  We agree with your assessment that this is a Robber Fly in the genus Efferia.  The tuft on the tip of the abdomen indicates this is a male Robber Fly.  The prey is also a fly in the order Diptera, but we are not sure of its classification.

Robber Fly eats Fly

Robber Fly eats Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge Robberfly
Location: 36°42’57.27″N 29°14’9.57″E
March 13, 2016 9:05 am
Seen in Turkey last summer. Quite high up (maybe 900m) in a pine forest about 20km inland in SW Turkey near Fethiye. The largest robberfly I have ever seen with a body which must be 40mm long at least. Beautiful looking beastie. You can clearly see the left haltere under the wing in this photo. Despite a lot of googling I am no closer to getting a scientific name for it.
Signature: Sean Stevenson

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Sean,
Your request arrived while we were out of the office, traveling with Journalism students to NYC.  Your Robber Fly looks very much like this image taken in Italy that is posted on the Diptera Info forum that is identified as being in one of the genera “
Tolmerus/Machimus sp. It is a female of a group of very hard to id species.”

Yes, that looks about right-thanks very much!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination