Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
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Subject: Robber Fly?
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
August 21, 2016 7:40 pm
I had an interesting visitor in the drive through at McDonald’s today. A large flying insect flew in my car window. I have never seen anything quite like it, so I started taking pictures of it with my cell phone. It landed on my cell phone case and stayed there, so I popped my cell phone out of the case and took several one-handed closeups. It seemed quite content to model for me and flew away when I was done.
Signature: Gary Manis

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Gary,
Your Robber Fly is commonly called a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes.

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what am I dealing with
Location: Mount solon, va
August 19, 2016 11:45 am
Dear bug man we live out in the country of Augusta county and have noticed an odd type wasp looking bug… my son who is 6 was stung the past two days about 6 times in two different periods… I saw this guy nearby and feel this is the culprit… if you could please help in identifying I would greatly appreciate it
Signature: crystal

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Crystal,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, a group known as Hanging Thieves because they frequently hang by one leg while eating.  Hanging Thieves are not aggressive toward humans, but they are capable of biting if they are carelessly handled, but that would have required your son catching one and getting bitten.  We do not believe a Hanging Thief is responsible for the stings your son received.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug ID request
Location: coopersburg, Pa
August 18, 2016 3:19 pm
Saw these two bugs on my back deck in Coopersburg, Pa. They are about 1 1?2 inches long. Would love to know what they are.
Thank You,
Dan
Signature: banjodan

Mating Giant Robber Flies

Mating Giant Robber Flies

Dear banjodan,
These are mating Giant Robber Flies or Bee Killers in the genus
Promachus, a group that includes the Red Footed Cannibalfly.  We turned to BugGuide to see if we could find a species match for you, and we were surprised to find your image which was submitted to them last week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s This!
Location: Inglewood, California (Southern, CA)
August 17, 2016 4:48 pm
Hello!
I was walking from my car to work in Inglewood, CA today, August 17, 2016, and found this guy on my way. I would say he\she was about an inch to an inch and 1/2 long and pretty stout. Could you please help me identify?
P.S. BUGS RULE
Signature: Amanda Paull

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Dear Amanda,
This is
Mallophora fautrix, the only Bee Killer, a Robber Fly in the genus Mallophora, found in California, though according to BugGuide there are six species found in North America, including the formidable Belzebul Bee-Eater from Texas. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: weird bug mating with bee
Location: high point, north carolina
August 15, 2016 5:26 pm
so i was sitting in my room and i looked on the screen of my window and saw a large-ish bug mating with a bee (bumble bee i think). the bee was “on bottom” and the larger bug was on top. the large bug had wings and large bulge-y black eyes. it seemed as if the wings went into a point at the bottom so it appeared somewhat in a triangle shape. i don’t know if that type of bug and bees mate often but the mating thing might help.
Signature: -brit

Robber Fly Eats Bee

Robber Fly Eats Bee

Dear -brit,
Bees and other insects do not engage in interspecies mating.  Your image is not ideal for identification purposes, but we believe you have observed a Robber Fly eating a Bee.  Large Robber Flies often prey upon wasps and bees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Horse Fly

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Horse Fly

Dear Tony,
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.

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Horse Fly

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Horse Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination