Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Impressive killer
Location: Roswell, Georgia
August 22, 2017 1:54 pm
I saw this flying around our yard yesterday, and dead in our driveway today. I believe it is the red-footed cannibal fly you mention on your page 3 of horse flies. Can you confirm this for me?
Signature: Maggie Bean

Giant Robber Fly

Dear Maggie Bean,
This is definitely a Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, but since its “feet” are hidden under its body, we cannot say for certain that it is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, but it is in the same genus which is well represented on BugGuide by many similar looking species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug eating yellow jacket
Location: Just east of Toledo Ohio
August 18, 2017 2:07 pm
What’s this bug? Seen on a F150 killing a yellow jacket. Really big and interesting. Thank you
Signature: lilli

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellowjacket

Dear Lilli,
This Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus appears to be a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  Giant Robber Flies frequently prey upon large stinging insects like wasps and bees.

Wow tyvm. It was the most interesting bug I have seen in a very long time. Never seen it before is it rare?

Sightings on BugGuide cover about 1/4 of North America, and sightings generally occur from July to September.  We get numerous identification requests for Red Footed Cannibalflies each summer, so we don’t believe they are considered rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect shell
Location: San Antonio Texas
August 12, 2017 12:52 pm
Found near our grass clippings under tree. No clue what this is please help.
Signature: Chris

Robber Fly Pupa

Dear Chris,
This Thing has been on our back burner as we have tried unsuccessfully to identify it.  We are pretty certain we have a similar posting buried somewhere in our archives among the nearly 25,000 postings we have made in the last 17 years, but we have not been able to locate it.  We believe this is the immature stage of a Fly in the order Diptera, but we cannot provide any internet citations at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will help to identify this Thing.

Update:  Thanks to Christopher Taylor who sent a BugGuide link to a Robber Fly Pupa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Alien insect
Location: Olathe, KS
August 13, 2017 1:15 pm
This creature was spotted on the deck of a home in Olathe, KS. I’ve never seen anything like it. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Chris N.

Giant Robber Fly

Dear Chris,
This is a predatory Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, but we are unable to provide a definitive species name at this time.  It is possible that it is Promachus vertebratus which is described on BugGuide as “Green eyes, sometimes with some red” and it is reported from Kansas.  Of the genus BugGuide notes:  “Large robber flies with tiger-stripe pattern on abdomen” and “prey: insects, often Hymenoptera” leading to the common name Bee Killer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What in the world is this?!
Location: Southern WV
August 7, 2017 12:32 pm
I have lived in Southern West Virginia my entire life and I have never came across a bug like this before! It almost looked like a long, huge Yellow Jacket with a thick coat of fur at the top, but the face of it looked odd. I couldn’t tell if it had a stinger or not, but the closer I got
to it, I noticed it had a yellow jacket held in its arms.
Signature: Megan Daniels

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellowjacket

Dear Megan,
This is one of eastern North America’s most impressive, large, predatory Robber Flies,
Promachus rufipes.  It is commonly called a Red Footed Cannibalfly, and as your image documents, they are fond of feeding on large stinging insects that they catch on the wing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found weird bug
Location: Decatur, Georgia
August 6, 2017 5:39 pm
Hey bug man, some coworkers found this little guy today and helped him outside the restaurant. Can you ID our mystery guest?
Signature: Richard

Hanging Thief

Dear Richard,
This is a predatory Robber Fly known as a Hanging Thief.  Because of the assistance you provided by returning this Hanging Thief to the outdoors, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination