Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
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

Subject: Large Horsefly…ish???
Location: Raleigh, NC
August 11, 2016 8:09 pm
Hi,
I’ve attached a photo (that I promise I took) of an insect in Raleigh, NC in June. It stands about an inch tall and is a little more than an inch long. I’m working on a “Critter Album” for my little girls, and I’m trying my best to ID all that I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Sam the inquisitive dad

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear San the inquisitive dad,
Your Critter Album sounds like an awesome way to educate your girls about the wonders of the natural world.  This is a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites.  They are commonly called Hanging Thieves because they frequently hang from one leg while feeding on prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful bug
Location: Bradenton, Florida
August 6, 2016 1:07 pm
About 1 inch long.
Signature: Kathleen

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Kathleen,
This Robber Fly is commonly called a Hanging Thief because of their habit of hanging from one leg while devouring prey they have captured on the wing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this eating another bug?
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, usa
August 5, 2016 5:44 pm
Looked like a fat bodie dragonfly but with spiky legs. About two inches long. Eating what looked like a bee. Little furry.
Signature: tittyj

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Honey Bee

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Honey Bee

Dear tittyj,
We are pretty certain your predator is a Robber Fly known as a Red Footed Cannibalfly, and the prey appears to be a Honey Bee.  The tip of the abdomen indicates this individual is a male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unknown insect
Location: Central Illinois
July 31, 2016 1:36 pm
We live in central Illinois and have seen this insect from time to time, but we do not know what it is. I hope you can identify it for us. Thank you.
Signature: Marsha Nelson

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Hi Marsha,
This Robber Fly is commonly called a Hanging Thief because they frequently eat their prey while hanging from one leg.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination