Grey-legged Slender Fly
Orange Slender Fly
Orange-legged Slender Fly
Line-legged Slender Fly
Brown-legged Slender Fly
Black-legged Slender Fly
 
Brachyrhopalinae
Wasp-mimic Robber Fly I
Wasp-mimic Robber Fly II
Zebra Robber Fly I
Zebra Robber Fly II 
 
 

                                               

Robber Flies - Family Asilidae

Order Diptera

This page contains pictures and information about Robber Flies in Family Asilidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
Robber Fly captured a winged ant 
 
Robber Flies are air hunters. They sometimes known as an Assassin Flies and Bee Killers. They have strong legs which capture prey on flight. They are medium to very large size flies with large eyes and necked head. They are active predators on flying insects, unselective in prey species. They even prey on web weaving spiders. Their mouthparts are the triangular proboscis  which insert into prey and suck the juice.
 
DSC_0897.jpg (231153 bytes)
Robber fly pupa empty case  
 
We have more information about Robber Flies in this Biology page.  

 
Subfamily Laphriinae - Black Robber Flies
Robber flies in this subfamily have the wing vein R2+3 ending on R1. Their antenna is three segmented and without terminal style. Most of them are shiny black colour.
Subfamily Ommatiinae - Feathery Antennae Robber Flies
This subfamily is very close related with Asilinae. They are sometimes put together as one subfamily Asilinae. Robber flies in this subfamily have the antenna in plumose form, i.e., like a feather.
Subfamily Asilinae, Tribe Apocleini - Giant Robber Flies
 
 
Subfamily Asilinae, Tribe Asilini - Common Robber Flies
Robber flies in this group have the wing vein R2+3 ending on R1, i.e., marginal cell closed, and with slender antennal style. They are medium to large in size. They are common in Brisbane bushlands. Most of them look similar and hard to be identified to species level. 
 
Subfamily Bathypogoninae - Short-winged Robber Flies
The subfamily Bathypogoninae is confined to Australia and contains one single genus, Bathypogon. They can be recognized by their rather short wings and the characteristic wing vein patterns. Most of them are medium in size. 
 
Subfamily Phellinae - Giant Robber Flies
This is a small subfamily with giant species. They are characterized by the possession of a spur vein, directed backward in the first submarginal cell from near the base of the anterior branch of the third vein. 
 
 
Subfamily Dasypogoninae 
Robber flies in this subfamily have the wing vein R2+3 open, ending on the wing margin. Their antenna terminal is sometimes thickened. The fore tibia with an apical spur; one of the spines at the apex of the ventral side of the fore tibia is enlarged. 
 
 
Subfamily Leptogasterinae
Robber flies in this subfamily have cell R1 open to coastal margin. There is only one Australian genus, Leptogaster, in this subfamily. They are small and very slender.
 
Subfamily Brachyrhopalinae
Robber flies in this subfamily have the wing vein R2+3 open, ending on the wing margin. The fore tibia with an apical spur; one of the spines at the apex of the ventral side of the fore tibia is enlarged. Some robber flies in this subfamily have orange or yellow marking on body or wings to mimic wasps.
 
Unknown Robber Fly
Please advise by email if you known the ID of the following species.
 
Reference:
1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 757.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p362.
3. Giff Beaton's Robber Flies (Asilidae) of Georgia and the southeast - by Giff Beaton, 2005.
4. Family ASILIDAE - Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog - Web Version, by Greg Daniels.
5. Key to the subfamilies of Asilidae - after Artigas & Papavero1988, by Fritz Geller-Grimm 1998.
6. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
7. On the Fly, The Interactive Atlas and Key to Australian Fly Families CD Rom - Hamilton, J. et al. 2006. Brisbane : CBIT & ABRS.
8. Family ASILIDAE Robber Flies - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory.
9. Australian Asilidae - Dr. Robert Lavigne, Honorary Research Associate, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, SA.
10. Robber flies of the world. The genera of the family Asilidae - Hull, F.M. 1962, U. S. National Museum Bulletin 224. (Pts. 1 & 2). U. S. Govt. Printing Office. 
11. A phylogenetic hypothesis for Asilidae based on a total evidence analysis of morphological and DNA sequence data (Insecta: Diptera: Brachycera: Asilidae) - Dikow, T. 2009, Organisms, Diversity & Evolution 9: 165188.
12. Phylogeny of Asilidae inferred from morphological characters of imagines (Insecta: Diptera: Brachycera: Asiloidea) - Dikow, T. 2009, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 319: 1-175 [Date published 17 March 2009] 
13. AsilidaeData - phylogenetic relationships within Asilidae (robber flies) - information complied by Torsten Dikow, 2012.

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Biology ] Laphriinae ] Ommatiinae ] Asilinae ] Bathypogoninae ] Phellinae ] Dasypogoninae ] Leptogasterinae ] Brachyrhopalinae ] Unidentified Robber Fly ]

 
                                                

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Last updated: May 04, 2013.