I spotted an impressive insect while hiking recently at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma – a Robber Fly. This particular Robber Fly was perched on a dew-covered blade of Johnson grass early in the morning. As you can see in the photo, it had a few drops of dew still clinging to it.
So why is this insect called a Robber Fly?
Robber Flies get their name from their aerial hunting skills. They are extremely fast and agile fliers that catch other insects midair. Once caught, they suck out the prey’s body fluids with their sharp, beak-like mouth parts. This ruthless hunting technique is why they earned the name “Robber Flies.”
These amazing hunters have very large eyes that take up most of their head. This gives them excellent vision to spot prey while flying. Robber Flies will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect like bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, etc.
Some species of Robber Fly even catch insects like dragonflies that are skilled aerialists themselves. Robber Flies are so quick and stealthy that they can even snatch insects right out of spider webs without getting caught themselves!
So next time you see a rapidly flying insect make a quick turn and snatch up another bug, it just might be one of these skilled “robbers” of the insect world – the Robber Fly. Their aerial hunting skills are unmatched in the insect world.
- Date: 7/12/23
- Time: 7:51 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 6400
- Aperture: 10
- Shutter: 1/1250
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Program: Manual