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

Subject: Robber Fly?
Location: Linden, Virginia
September 21, 2013 8:37 pm
Could you please identify the fly in the attached photographs? I think it may be some type of robber fly. I saved this one from my dogs’ wading pool and later saw a similar fly eating a stink bug. It is well worth having these flies around if they prey on stink bugs! Thanks for looking!
Signature: Lynn

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Lynn,
Your family identification of this Robber Fly is correct.  More specifically it is a Red Footed Cannibalfly or Bee Panther, Promachus rufipes, and as you are aware, it is an impressive insect.  We are happy to hear they are preying upon the Stink Bugs in your vicinity, which we suspect are most likely the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs.  Because of your kindness in rescuing this Red Footed Cannibalfly, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Red Footed Cannibalfly.

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for identifying my fly.  He was very cool!  :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible Bee Killer Robber Fly
Location: Auburndale, FL
September 4, 2013 1:16 pm
Not sure if this is a Southern or Florida Bee Killer, or just another type of Robber Fly. Super pretty, whatever it is.
Signature: Sharon

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Hi Sharon,
This is a stunning photo of a stunning Robber Fly.  We agree that it is a Bee Killer in the genus Mallophora, however we are not certain of the species.  Unlike the images of the Southern Bee Killer on BugGuide which have a black tipped abdomen, your individual has a yellow tip on the abdomen.  There is one Bee Killer also from Florida on BugGuide with the identical markings to your Bee Killer, however it is not identified to the species level.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber Fly with Green Eyes?
Location: Northeast Florida
September 2, 2013 1:28 pm
I’ve seen this big flying insect a few times in the past couple of days but today I was able to get some photos when it landed on a vine. Its body was about 1.25 inches long (35 mm) and its green eyes were very noticeable. It looks like a Robber Fly, maybe a Hanging Thief? Or is it too big for that?
Signature: Karen in Florida

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Hi Karen,
Your Robber Fly is definitely a Hanging Thief in the genus
Diogmites, and there are several species found in Florida with green eyes, so we don’t feel comfortable taking the identification to the species level.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What are these things
Location: MD
August 30, 2013 3:10 pm
Okay these 2 are definitely we think matting but what are they. These were seen in MD on a wooden swing.. if that is any help. Thank you,
Signature: Edie

Red Footed Cannibalflies Mating

Red Footed Cannibalflies Mating

Dear Edie,
These are mating Giant Robber Flies in the genus
Promachus, and we believe they might be Red Footed Cannibalflies or Bee Panthers, Promachus rufipes.  We are not entomologists and there is not enough detail in your photographs to be certain, but we believe based on the markings, our identification is most likely correct.  You can compare your photos to those posted to BugGuide which reports:  “Preys on large flying insects. Has been reported to attack Ruby-throated Hummingbirds” with a link to the Hilton Pond Center website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee killer- Mallophora leschenaulti
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
August 19, 2013 7:23 am
Hey bugman, I thought you might like these photos of a bee killer ( Mallophora leschenaulti) that I came across about a week ago. It was probably the largest robber fly I have ever seen. I posted the pics to bugguide and was given this ID. I hope you enjoy my photos of this impressive insect as much as I enjoy visiting your website multiple times per day!
Signature: Michael

Belzebul Bee Killer

Belzebul Bee Killer

Hi Michael,
One of our favorite reasons for posting photos of
Mallophora leschenaulti is that the common name is the Belzebul Bee Eater.  There is a long history of associating Satan with flies and the person that gave this adept hunter its common name must have found it to be among the most demonic looking of flies.  While we do not endorse demonizing insects unnecessarily, we are amused by the common name nonetheless.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Southern Bee Killer
Location: Stevenson, AL.
August 3, 2013 11:13 pm
I saw this guy hang out with his thug friend in my flower garden. Earlier I spotted one attacking one of my Pinevine Swallowtails.
Signature: Amy C.

Southern Bee Killer

Southern Bee Killer

Dear Amy,
The Southern Bee Killer,
Mallophora orcina, is one impressive predator.  These large Robber Flies are adept hunters that take prey on the wing.  We are sorry to hear about your Pipevine Swallowtail.  More information on the Southern Bee Killer can be found on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination