Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 4:25 AM
I was sitting in my garden on new years day 2009 when this huge flying thing buzzed past my head, did a few loop the loops and settled on the frame of the swing we have in the back garden. I was amazed at the size as i measured it over 2 inches long. I grabbed my camera from inside and took this picture before it flew away at great speed. I have showed it to alot of locals and they have all said they have never seen anything so big before. Is this abnormal or some migrating insect from a far away land?
Perth, Western Australia
Dear Mr B,
This is some species of Robber Fly in the Family Asilidae. Robber Flies are predatory insects, and the larger species are quite capable of capturing bees in flight. We haven’t had any luck identifying your species on one of our common sources for Australian insects, the Insects of Brisbane Website, but since you are in Perth, your insect might have a range limited to the western portion of the continent. As we continued our research, we found the Giant Blue Robber Fly, Blepharotes spendidissimus, listed on the same website. The Giant Blue Robber Fly looks very similar to your specimen. Continued research revealed the Giant Yellow Robber Fly, Blepharotes coriarius, also on the Insects of Brisbane Website. Closer inspection of your photograph seems to indicate the telltale golden yellow abdomen beneath the wings, which would confirm that this is probably a Giant Yellow Robber Fly.