What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Biting Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Tyler, Texas
Date: 08/31/2019
Time: 12:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We see these ‘bugs’ usually in the fall. Their bite is painful and leaves whelps. Wasp killer spray does them in so we got pictures this time.
How you want your letter signed:  Bob & Elaine

Possibly Robber Fly

Dear Bob & Elaine,
Normally we would expect a large biting fly to be a Horse Fly or a Deer Fly, and this looks more to us like a predatory Robber Fly, but we have not had any luck matching your images to a species.  While we caution readers not to carelessly handle large Robber Flies as they might bite, we do not know of any reports of unprovoked bites from Robber Flies.  We will be sending your images to Eric Eaton to get a second opinion on its identity.

Possibly Robber Fly

Eric Eaton Responds.
Hi, Daniel:
Yes, it is a robber fly, but I suspect that it is guilty by association with something like a horse fly or deer fly.  Robber flies do NOT habitually bite people.  They are strictly predators of other insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Tyler, Texas

One Response to Possibly Biting Robber Flies in Texas

  1. Erin says:

    I am from Tyler, TX and just a few days ago I was bit by a fly just like this! It was in Flint, TX, which is just outside of Tyler. The abdomen was slender, just like this Robber Fly. I definitely saw it biting me, as I had to swat it away after I felt it. I’ve been bit by horse flies before, my entire life! This bite hurt much worse (I thought I was being stung by a wasp or bit by a spider!) Days later, it was raised and itchy, like a bad mosquito bite.

    The only other thing I remember about it is the way it flew away. It moved almost like a hummingbird (fast and agile!) I think it flew underneath our wooden deck, between the boards. It bit me on the inside of my ankle, so it’s possible it came from under the deck to begin with.

    I did some research and found that Robber Flies are predators (not blood-sucking parasites) but I’m confident that it was a fly just like the one in this picture, and it wasn’t provoked (unless maybe it was under the deck and we disturbed it?) Are these flies aggressive?

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