What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Fly?
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?
Mr B
Perth, Western Australia

Robber Fly

Giant Yellow Robber Fly

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.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

11 Responses to Giant Yellow Robber Fly from Western Australia, possibly

  1. Jay says:

    I found one of these while was at work a few years ago, it was just laying on the footpath and looked as if had only just died. I couldn’t believe how big it was and had never seen any thing like it before so i picked it up and took it home. I still have it.

    • bugman says:

      If you ever take a photo of it, we would love to post it. Please title the subject line of the email “Giant Yellow Robber Fly from Australia” and it will get our attention.

  2. Trent says:

    I have a property about a hour out of Perth and I had one fly past me. the thing was huge and at first I didn’t take much notice but then the next day I saw it again and then the day after and so on before I knew it we now have about 4 living around our house. I have only recently decided to study them because of the growing population. they let you get very close but its scary when they take off because you don’t know if its going to bite you or not. so I can get photos if you want.

  3. Wolfgang Hotze says:

    cught one in Bridgetown, WA last week
    (can send pics if sombody is interested)

  4. treasurewood says:

    It’s a Giant Yellow Robber Fly. I captured one today in Williams, Western Australia but at first could only find reference to them being in QLD and SA. I have since found a few reports of them being sighted in WA so they are definitely here! 🙂 The one I captured looks exactly like this. It is huge and has a huge giant golden yellow abdomen with “serrated” edges. It makes a very loud buzzing sound when it flies. When at rest it looks completely black with it’s black wings neatly overlapping and folded over top of it’s abdomen. When in flight the abdomen is very visable (alarmingly so). It is a very impressive insect and scared all of our kids as they thought it was a giant wasp. The photos I got were not very good as they were taken while it was inside a clear bucket… as soon as I released it, it flew away very quickly. There are some excellent photos of them here: http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_robbers/LargeRobberFly.htm

  5. Allie says:

    we have found a Giant Yellow Robber Fly in our garden on a Diosma Bush in Geelong ive never seen anything like it before. Are thay common in this part of the country?

  6. Mark says:

    This appears to be the thing terrorising my wife and kid the last few days at our residence in Cunderdin WA.

    I have been trying to research and find out what it might be over the past few weeks, but hadn’t had much luck till I saw this post.

    It’s a massive insect that eats bees and large hornets for breakfast!

    It usually sits up high in the backyard waiting for the moment to descend on a unsuspecting insect.

    When they fly, the wings uncover to reveal a bright orange/yellow abdomen.

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