Currently viewing the category: "Robber Flies"
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What in the World!!! Please Help!
Dear Bugman,
I found your site about two months ago after being pinched by a beetle. Great photos, and descriptions=hours of fun. Anyway, these guys were flying around having a good time scarring my niece. I haven’t seen any like this before (we live in Central Illinois). I looked through your pages on bees, wasps and dragonflies, but couldn’t find a match. Any help would be much appreciated (and also end a family discussion on the bugs identity)! Thank you, keep up the great work and have a great day!!!!
Kim B.

Hi Kim,
Your mating insects are Robber Flies in the family Asilidae, possibly Giant Robber Flies in the genus Promachus.

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Possible Brachonid Wasp
I saw this Wasp-like insect this morning through my kitchen window near Benson, Arizona. It is large (maybe 2 – 3"), orange body, dark wings, white face with short red antenae. Two photos of this insect attached. I searched your pic and think this is in the Brachonid Wasp family. Thank you,
Carol Breton
Benson, Arizona

Hi Carol,
This is a Robber Fly, not a Brachonid Wasp. It sure looks like on of the Hanging Thieves in the genus Diogmites, but there are no exact species matches on BugGuide. We will contact Eric Eaton and Martin Hauser to see if either of them knows the species.

Update: (09/26/2007)
Hi Daniel,
I sent the pics to Eric Fisher, who knows everything about robbers (only the flying ones). He told me it is Archilestris magnificus (Walker), a Mexican species which has been only a few times collected in Arizon, but nowhere else in the US… It is not really a hanging thief, but it sure looks like one. Great catch! Cheers
Martin Hauser

Comment: (09/26/2007)
Wow! Hey, I think a friend of mine got one across the border in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico back in 1989. We were on vacation together, and this big robber fly was trying to get out of a storefront window. So my friend paid the dude for the fly! LOL! Wish I would have tried to outbid him:-) Hope we can get these images migrated over to Bugguide, as I’m sure it would be a new genus and species….but I also know how busy you are, Daniel. Maybe Eric Fisher can take a look at our Bugguide asilids and confirm IDs?
Eric Eaton

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fly with an attitude!
Dear Whatsthatbugers,
Looks like a bumblebee but I know better. This robberfly is a resident of my garden what a noble creature it is. I can’t imagine how she (he) captured this red wasp. I live in central Texas (San Marcos) and am curious about just which species this is. Thank you kindly.

Hi Diane,
Noble is not usually an adjective that we hear attached to an insect, but this Bee Killer, a Robber Fly in the genus Mallophora, is surely befitting the descriptive.

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Maybe a Golden Back Snipe Fly?
This thing was big! I’ve seen a couple of these buzzing around a flowering shrub this summer. This one had gotten trapped in our screened back porch. It buzzed around like mad, then settled down so I photographed it at length. Then it dropped down dead. Must have been the 108 degree temperature. It’s been mighty hot here in the Ozarks the past week or so. And bone dry. I cropped and compressed this photo so it wouldn’t be huge. I have numerous HQ photos of this insect if you want. I’m sure it’s a "fly" of some sort, just unsure as to what. Thanks!
Gary Parnell
Mnt. Home, AR

Hi Gary,
This is one of the Giant Robber Flies, the Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes. It is also known as a Bee Panther. BugGuide has some great photos.

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Huge Wasp found in my pool
My niece found this huge wasp in our pool today and we are curious about what it is and if we should be worried. I have never noticed one around the house before, but then again I let the bees and wasp do there business so I never pay that much attention (I leave them alone, they leave me alone). He was dead by time we found him so after taking our pictures we dropped him onto a spider web and came inside to see if we could identify it on your site, no luck. I cannot get anymore pictures or info because within a few minutes the spider had taken him into his lair 🙂
Kristy Fedyk

Hi Kristy,
We believe this is a female Red Footed Cannibalfly, Promachus rufipes, one of the Giant Robber Flies. If handled, they are capable of biting, but they are much more interested in capturing other winged prey. They are also known as Bee Panthers.

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Can you identify this bug?
Hope you can help as this bug has "attacked" two different people – one in Georgia and one in Kentucky. Thanks.
Nebby McMahon

Hi Nebby,
Wow, that Hanging Thief, a type of Robber Fly, has really chocked up the mileage if it traveled between Georgia and Kentucky.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination