I have a county road I walk near my place in the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas. I see lots of Robber Flies (Asilidae) perched on the rocks that cover the road. They allow me to get close with my camera. They primarily feed on other insects and normally wait in ambush and capture their prey in flight. I have been lucky and have photographed these insects with the prey they have caught. This one didn’t have a prey but it did turn to face my camera for a head on shot.

Robber Fly On Rocks
Robber Fly On Rocks
Robber Fly Turned For Camera
Robber Fly Turned For Camera

Robber Flies are also called Assassin Flies. They are very aggressive and this is why they earn those names.

What is cool about this insect is that it has a mustache. I read that this mustache protects the head and face when the fly deals with struggling prey.

Here is a great blog post with some great pictures by Carly: Robber Flies Give Other Bugs Nightmares, Here’s Why

How I Got The Shot – Robber Fly Turned For Camera

I was sitting on the road while hand holding a Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Back-button Focus
  • Aperture f8
  • ISO 500
  • Shutter Speed – 1/2200 sec.
  • 0.7 Exposure Value
  • Auto White Balance
  • Single Point, Continuous Auto Focus
  • Multi Metering
  • Focal Length – 400 mm

Here are a few more insects I have photographed: Dragonfly On Dew Covered Leaf and Male Widow Skimmer Dragonfly. You may also enjoy this photo of these Eastern Tent Caterpillars.

Wildlife Photography Tip

If an animal makes eye-contact with your camera during a shot, you instantly introduce a load of impact to the image. In these photos I made sure the eyes were sharp and I got lucky and the Robber Fly turned and faced the camera in the second photo.