Greetings fellow nature lovers! Yesterday I was walking along a quiet country road that runs alongside the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas. It was a sunny summer day, nearly 100 degrees, when a flash of movement caught my eye. Perched on a rocks in the road was a sizable robber fly, sitting perfectly still in a patch of sunlight. Its long legs splayed out at odd angles and its bulging eyes vigilantly scanned the area. I quickly walked over with my camera, hoping to capture some shots before the insect took off.
Robber flies are aerial predators, known for their ability to catch other flying insects while in midair. They have a fascinating hunting strategy. Once prey is spotted, the robber fly rockets into the air to intercept it. Strong, spiny legs reach out and grab the victim, sometimes impaling it on the sharp proboscis. The fly then returns to its perch to feed.
This robber fly I discovered appeared to be lying in wait, ready to launch an aerial ambush. I slowly approached, camera ready. It tolerated my presence surprisingly well, allowing me to photograph it from multiple angles. I feel fortunate to have captured the insect in such a natural pose atop the weathered rocks. The contrasting textures and colors made for quite a dramatic scene.
I love discovering unique insects like this on my photography adventures in the Ouachita. Every day presents new creatures and behaviors to document if you take the time to stop and observe. I hope these robber fly photos inspire you to take a closer look at the tiny wild lives happening all around us each day.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Near The Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas)
- Date and Time Taken: July 3, 2022 (09:01 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f10 (First Photo) f8 (Second Photo)
- Shutter speed: 1/3200 (For Both Photos)
- ISO: 8000 (For First Photo) 640 (Second Photo)(Auto)
- Focal Length: 500 mm