Robber flies

Robber flies insect A robber fly, Machimus atricapillus, seizes a lacewing in flight. This species is found in Europe. Body length 0.4 inches (10 mm).

common name: Robber flies (assassin flies)

Family: Asilidae

Suborder: Brachycera

Order: Diptera

class /subphylum:Insecta Hexapoda

Number of species: About 6,500 (983 us.)

size: From about 0.3 in (8 mm) to 1.2 in (3 cm)

Key features: Eyes very large in relation to the head, bulging both upward and forwardi ocelli present, all of the body, but especially the head, heavily bristled; powerful proboscis; hind legs powerful, used for grasping prey

Habits:Adult flies like bright sunshine; sit around on vegetation, rocks, or on the ground waiting for passing insects; mostly strong fliers that catch other insects, especially other flies, in midair; a number of species are good mimics of bees and wasps

Breeding:Some species have elaborate courtship rituals; eggs laid on or in the soil, plants, or rotting wood

Diet: Adults highly predaceous, sucking the insides out of their insect prey, larvae feed on vegetable matter in soil; some may be carnivorous

Habitat: Forests, savanna, grassland, deserts, mountains, and sand dunes


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Robber flies Insect


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