Subject: ZZtop Fly that just sat there
Location: Dallas area Texas
July 16, 2014 8:34 am
Found this rather large fly on my car. He sat there for over a day in the hot sun. I set the P&S on macro and captured these shots. The white tip on his tail, and the lines aon his back should be distinctive. The hairy face reminded me of ZZ Top – a Billy Gibbons fly?
Any idea what this one is called?
Signature: Richard Todd
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae. Thanks to Bugs In The News, we believe we have correctly identified your individual as a member of the genus Promachus, the Giant Robber Flies, possibly Promachus bastardii. BugGuide tends to substantiate that identification. BugGuide indicates the common name for this species is the False Bee Killer. Bugs In The News also provides this information: “Robber flies are equipped with a short, but strong proboscis which is used like a sword to pierce the integuments of their prey. The proboscis is further equipped with an orifice, distally, through which salivary secretions are injected into the prey. These secretions contain neurotoxic enzymes that paralyze and incapacitate, and proteolytic enzymes that digest animal tissue. Once the robber fly attacks and subdues its prey (which often includes insects of its own family, and even its own species; robber flies are notorious as true cannibals), it remains attached via its proboscis until the prey’s internal tissues have been digested to a liquefied state, whereupon it sucks the ‘nutritious’ (!) liquid up through the same orifice that delivered its salivary secretions, to consummate its grand, though — from a human perspective — disgusting, feast.”