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

Subject: Is it a bee?

Location: Bujumbura, Burundi, East Africa
February 23, 2013 3:16 pm
Hello,
I wonder if you could help me in identifying the following bug – it was really big – perhaps two centimetres long, and when I first saw it it was flying, and out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a beetle… at closer inspection, though it clearly wasn’t. It has dark wings, and it’s very sturdy indeed. Anyway, I managed to get this picture of it once it landed.
It was in Burundi, on the north coast of lake tanganyika, just over the border from tanzania.
I saw it about midday, and I could see its head swivelling from side to side as it looked around.
Would be fascinated to know what it is. Couldn’t believe how big it was!
Thanks
Signature: Rob

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Hi Rob,
This is one impressive Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We quickly found a matching photo on The Featured Creature where it is identified as being in the genus
Hyperechia.  We found other photos on GorillaCD, the official site of the Virunga National Park and a followup provided this information:  “I wrote to two guys at the Zoology Dept of University of Cape Town. One of them, Mike Picker, wrote a book on insects. Here’s what he said: ‘It’s a robberfly, probably genus Hyperechia. The diff. species of Hyperechia each mimic a different species of carpenter bee. The adult flies feed on carpenter bees and wasps, and the larvae also live in holes in wood with the carpenter bee larvae, on which they feed. There are other very large robberflies that mimic spider wasps.’”  A similar looking individual posted to FlickR is identified as Hyperechia nigrita.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber Flies from Australia
Location: Boddington/Crossman western Australia
January 12, 2013 11:28 pm
photos in regards to ”Giant Yellow Robber Fly from Western Australia, possibly” from Trent.
Signature: photos posted on Giant Yellow Robber Fly from Western Australia, possibly

Giant Yellow Robber Fly

Hi Trent,
Thanks for sending your photo of a Giant Yellow Robber Fly,
Blepharotes coriarius.  It nicely compliments the original posting you supplied comments for.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this bug?
Location: St Lucia, Kwazulu Natal, East Coast, South Africa
December 31, 2012 12:36 pm
I found this on a walk through a butterfly santuary
Signature: any

Unknown Robber Fly

Dear any,
You submitted two nearly identical emails, and on the first you stated:  “I found it inside a butterfly dome.”  Between your two emails, we are concluding that this was an enclosed structure with butterflies, in which case this unknown Robber Fly might present a bit of a problem.  Robber Flies are predators that take prey on the wing, and we suspect this individual might be preying upon butterflies in the enclosure.  We haven’t been able to identify which species of Robber Fly this is, but hopefully we will eventually be able to provide a species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wat is this
Location: St Lucia, South Africa
December 28, 2012 3:30 pm
I dont know what this is, please help
Signature: any

Robber Fly

Dear any,
This is really a spectacular looking Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We attempted to find a species identification and we found a matching photo of a mounted specimen on Beetles in the Bush that is identified as
Proagonistes praeceps, but alas, we have not been able to verify that identification elsewhere.  That specimen is from Natal, South Africa.  Beetles in the Bush provides contradictory information, calling it first a Hymenopteran and then a Robber Fly.  Diptera.info also has a photo of a mounted specimen and provides this information:  “Proagonistes sp., a large Laphriine asilid from East Africa or Madagascar (Andrenosomatini – related to Andrenosoma, Pogonosoma, etc.).”  This might be the only photograph online of a living specimen.  Can you provide any additional information on where it was sighted?

Update:  December 31, 2013
Upon researching a new image of an African Robber Fly that we just received, we discovered a recent posting on this genus on Ecology Picture of the Week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Robber fly
Location: Daintree Rainforest Australia
December 21, 2012 4:58 pm
Dear bugman,
I took this picture two months ago in the Daintree rainforest, Australia. I think it is a robber fly, but I can’t figure out what kind of robber fly.
Can you help me?
Best regards, Paul
Signature: Paul

Robber Fly with Prey

Dear Paul,
Despite the angle of view being very different, your Robber Fly reminds us of this unidentified Robber Fly from Australia we posted several days ago.  The coloration and markings on the legs, the antennae and the wings all look very similar and we believe they may be the same species.  Your side view also shows the shape and length of the legs, but we still can’t be decisive about the identification based on images on the Brisbane Insect website.  It appears that your individual is feeding on a large True Bug.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for your answer, I keep on searching.
Best regards, Paul

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly???
Location: Southern Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
December 20, 2012 1:01 am
Dear Bugman,
I found this insect that looks like a hybrid of a fly and dragonfly in my backyard, but am unsure if it is a dragonfly as we usually see the everyday green dragonflies in our area at this time of year (early summer).
Signature: Kim

Robber Fly

Hi Kim,
This is a Robber Fly, a predatory true Fly in the family Asilidae.  It is the third image of a Robber Fly from Australia we have posted in the past week, though all are different species.  We will try to determine a species name for you when time permits.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination