Subject: Impressive killer
Location: California, ky. 20 minutes south of cincinnati
August 14, 2016 6:42 pm
Hello, I found a photo of the insect in question on the Internet and it directed me to your page. I couldn’t find the image I saw on your web site, so I am contacting you. This insect was flying around with a horse fly in its grips and eventually landed on me…. Then on one of my banana trees, where he rested for at least a half hour (see pic). You are welcome to use my images on your web site as they are quite interesting.
Signature: Thanks, Tony Painter
This impressive predator is a Giant Robber Fly known as a Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes, and they are adept hunters who can take very large prey on the wing. There is even a report on the Hilton Pond Center website of a Red Footed Cannibalfly catching a hummingbird. We believe the prey in your awesome images is Tabanus americanus, because of the red antennae. Can you confirm that the Horse Fly has green eyes? They are not readily visibly green in your images. We are very impressed that you were able to walk around this awesome Food Chain encounter to get images from both sides. As an aside, we had never heard of California, Kentucky, and we learned that as of the 2014 census, your sity has a population of 87.