Friday, October 15, 2010

Ugliest Bug. Ever.

Robber Fly  2

Family Asilidae

I found these guys in Sutton, New Hampshire in July. I have seen and photographed them here in Vermont, also. I always, when I see them fly, think they are dragonflies. It isn’t until I view the photos in the computer and go “Ewwwwww,” that I find they are robber flies. I wouldn’t pick them up if I were you — the big ones bite! says of robber flies:

Medium-sized to large predatory flies, often perch in exposed location and make short flies after prey. Typical family characteristics:

  • top of head hollowed out between eyes, with three ocelli in this depression (diagnostic character)
  • body from very hairy to nearly bare
  • typical body form elongated, with tapered abdomen, but other forms as well
  • some groups mimics of hymenoptera
  • face usually "bearded", with prominent mystax
  • mouthparts modified to inject saliva into prey--saliva contains potent neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes
  • mouthparts similar in both sexes, unlike typical blood-sucking flies, such as Tabanidae
  • antennae with three segments, third segment elongate and often with terminal style

Mating Robber Flies (1)

       My Robber Fly Set on Flickr

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