Subject: Black fly/cicada thing?
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
December 5, 2015 12:28 am
Dear Mr. Bugman, I live in Newcastle NSW Australia where summer is just kicking off and I recently stumbled upon this demonic looking critter. It was first hanging off a leaf in my garden where I noticed it had a dark blue shine on its back. It’s eyes were a little apart and it had lots of tiny hairs around it’s snout? There was also a jagged edged plate looking thing beneath its belly. After hours of browsing I’m still not totally convinced it’s a female horsefly despite it being the most similar description I could find. If you could confirm what this creature actually is for me it would be much appreciated, it looks like such a fascinating creature. Thanks
This is a very exciting submission for us. Though Cicadas are frequently mistaken for flies, and though Australia does have a great diversity of Cicadas with creative common names, this is a True Fly, though not a Horse Fly. We are relatively certain it is a Giant Blue Robber Fly, Blepharotes spendidissimus, and though we are not 100% certain of the species, we are confident that the genus is correct. We do not believe this is the closely related and even larger Giant Yellow Robber Fly. The Brisbane Insect site has nice images of the Giant Blue Robber Fly and there are not many other images found online. The individual pictured on Oz Animals appears to be a male, and we are relatively certain your individual is a female. We believe this other individual from New South Wales that is in our archives is most probably Blepharotes spendidissimus as well.