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

Subject: Unknown Fly
Location: Great Salt Lake, Utah
July 5, 2014 3:22 pm
While on vacation, I stopped at the Great Salt Lake in Utah. On the shores of the lake, there was these flies that were about 1 1/2 inches in length and were large enough to cast a shadow as they were flying. I am somewhat familiar with insects but I haven’t seen any like these before.
Signature: Brandon

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Brandon,
This is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and we will attempt a more specific identification later today.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ichneumon Wasp?
Location: West Milford, New Jersey
July 3, 2014 6:48 am
I have looked at lots of pictures, but I cant ID this insect. I have seen them in my garden a few times, I feel like it may be a Ichneumon Wasp, but I have been unable to match anything with the dark band/stripe down the middle of the thorax.
Signature: Geoffrey Syme

Mating Robber Flies

Mating Robber Flies

Hi Geoffrey,
These are mating Robber Flies in the family Asilidae.  We will attempt to identify the species.  Based on images posted to BugGuide, this appears to be
Asilus sericeus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly relative / nymph?
Location: Austin, Texas
June 19, 2014 2:21 pm
I spotted this flying insect on a purple coneflower near an area with man-made ponds and lots of dragonflies, turtles and fish. When the insect flew away, there was a buzzing sound.
Signature: Susan

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Our automated Response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Hi. I actually figured out (after much research) that the photo I submitted was of a robber fly (aka assassin fly), Asilidae…and further narrowed it down to a variety of Diogmites. I can’t seem to take it any further, as I haven’t seen any of these with abdomens as long as the one in my photo.

Hi Susan,
We were away from the office when you wrote, and we are trying to catch up on old mail, posting some of the more interesting images we received in our absence, including yours.  Your identification is only partially correct.  While this is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, it is not a Hanging Thief in the genus
Diogmites.  It is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes, and you can compare your excellent image to the images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly…?
Location: North Cyprus
May 25, 2014 2:44 am
Hi, Guys,
I wonder if you would help me to identify this beastie, which I found munching on a fly on my bougainvillea this morning (25 May). I’ve spent hours searching through the internet, but have failed to identify what I assume is some kind of dragonfly..? I live in Northern Cyprus, in an area bounded by sea on one side and rural maquis, and farmland on the other. I’ve not seen one in the garden before, and whilst I have a pool, this is stringently patrolled by a very territorial ruddy darter. Any help would be much appreciated!
Signature: Jane

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Hi Jane,
This is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and like the unrelated Dragonfly, it is an adept hunter capable of taking large prey on the wing.  Your individual looks very similar to this
Promachus species sighted on Cyprus that is posted to Nature Wonders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identification
Location: Ghanzi, Botswana, Africa
May 20, 2014 5:19 am
Good day,
I wish to inquire on the name of this insect.
Regards
Alan
Signature: This bug is…

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Alan,
This impressive predator is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  Many large Robber Flies mimic bees, and this individual appears to be a good bee mimic.  Large Robber Flies are able to prey upon hornets and wasps and other large flying insects, and they are very adept at taking prey on the wing.  We will attempt to identify your Robber Fly to the species level.  We located a very similar looking Robber Fly on iSpot, but it is not identified.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what’s this bug
Location: 1 hr north of Houston TX
April 29, 2014 6:17 pm
I only got one pic of this bug before it flew away, so it can fly. It has a very unique marking on the top of the thorax, huge eyes. Looks like a digging or stabbing beak. Hairy legs. this bug is between 1 1/2 and 2 inches long.
Signature: I don’t know the answer

Robber Fly:  Laphria saffrana

Robber Fly: Laphria saffrana

And we are very happy you managed to get that one photo.  This is a Bee-Like Robber Fly, Laphria saffrana.  We identified this magnificent predator on BugGuide where it states:  “Bromley (1934) considered this species to be a mimic of the queen of the southern yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa.”  Laphria saffrana is also represented on iNaturalist.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination