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Robber fly ...

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....on a wire in the back garden. They are also known as Assassin Flies. They belong to the Asilidae family and are found in lots of countries around the world.

Wikipedia says:
Robber flies have stout, spiny legs and they have three simple eyes (ocelli) in a characteristic depression on the top of their head between their two large compound eyes. They also have a usually dense moustache of stiff bristles on the face; this is called the mystax, a term derived from the Greek mystakos meaning "moustache" or "upper lip". The mystax has been suggested to afford some protection for the head and face when the flies deal with struggling prey; various Asilidae prey on formidable species including stinging Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, bees and ants) , powerful grasshoppers, dragonflies and even other Robber flies, in fact practically anything of a suitable size. Some Robber Flies do, however, specialise in smaller prey, and this is reflected in their more gracile build.

In general the family attacks a very wide range of prey, including other flies, beetles, butterflies and moths, various bees, ants, dragon and damselflies, ichneumon wasps, grasshoppers, and some spiders. They do so apparently irrespective of any repugnant chemicals the prey may have at its disposal. Many Robber Flies when attacked in turn do not hesitate to defend themselves with their proboscides and may deliver intensely painful bites if handled incautiously.

Brisbane, Australia.
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  1. moon89620:06
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  4. mariolyn0:08
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  10. Shian20:10

Comments

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robryan

LOL!!! Good one snooker:)))) Maybe that's what Lyndee needs to do too - she's usually not a fan of bugs either:)))) Thanks :))

That's 2 BIG eyes - and 3 small ones Suzy:))) No wonder they're hard to swat:))) and thanks for the 10 stars:)))

He's sure a funny shape Lyndee - and much different to our usual flies. Thanks :)))

Wow! What a story Dave!! It's a shame you didn't have your camera handy!!! LOL!!! We've felt like that with a few rowdy parties in the neighbourhood:)))) Thanks:))))

warbler

Excellent photo, Robyn!! I was in my yard last summer and saw a variety of Robber Fly(it was a large one) grab a wood boring wasp(which are big) and it was a huge battle. The robber fly eventually tore off a couple of the wasps legs and then ripped its head off. and carried the carcass away somewhere. It was a bazare but powerful act of nature to watch. I wanted to attach a couple of heat seeking missles to it and send it after this certain neighbor in return for a couple of squirrels but I was afraid of the final negotiation it might demand.

lyndee

He definitely has the face of a fly but the body is different than ours. Congrat on your 10 stars Robyn.

pumpkinhead

10 stars!!! :)

pumpkinhead

What BIG EYES they have!

I solved the puzzle with my eyes closed. :)

robryan

It sure is Floyd - survival of the fittest:)) Thanks :)))

LOL!! I was about 6" away Chrissie - and I'm glad he only feasts on other bugs too:)) Thanks :))

I haven't been bitten by this nasty Shirley - and I'd like it to stay that way too :))) Thanks :)))

Shian2

I'm sure I haven't seen these, I seen similar types with much fuller bodies, may be they were march flies or horseflies, I don't wish to be bitten by any of them, they can stay in their space, and I'll stay in mine, Thanks, Rob.

foxymoron

Good, safe distance shot :-) Thanks, Rob. I'm glad they don't come any bigger!

Gladstone

That's one mean dude.
It really knows how to survive.

robryan

I'd like to know what eats them though Lunie:))) Maybe birds?

Dilubreuer

They sure have rolesto play Jan...part of the web of life...

robryan

Not quite a grasshopper Lunie - and only about 2cm - 3/4" long!! Thanks :))

Thanks Nev - I'd seen one once before - but didn't know what it was:))) I was surprised that it has 5 eyes!!!

Yikes! I kept well clear of him Janet - just zoomed in:)))) I've been bitten by horseflies - and they really hurt!!! Thanks:))

LOL!! He sounds like a real thug Barb - and I'm pleased he didn't have any mates with him:)))) Thanks :)))

SunnyBarb25

My goodness, what horrid characters those flies are....capable of killing anything and everything :( Just one word...WOW!... :(

jan42ful

I was bitten (stung?) by one of these once and it really hurt. They are nasty creatures, but I guess everyone has to live! Thanks for a great photo and great info, Rob. Hugs.

Dilubreuer

Looking like grasshoppers eh?

robryan

They sure are Jacki:)) I never even realised it was a fly - until I looked it up!! Thanks :))

bluebird42

Creepy looking character.

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