When cats have fly bites on their ears, a fly repellant cream may be used to deter the flies. Horse-flies or horseflies are true flies in the family Tabanidae in the insect order Diptera.They are often large and agile in flight, and the females bite animals, including humans, to obtain blood.They prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady areas, and are inactive at night. After injecting the hapless meal with saliva that paralyzes and digests the prey’s bodily contents, the robber fly retires back to its perch and slurps up its insect smoothie. Common Name: Robber fly Scientific Name: Varies Order: Diptera Description: Adult stages are medium to large (3/8 to 1-1/8 inch) flies often observed on stems of plants, on the ground or flying low. I literally screamed. While they rarely attack humans, they can inflict quite a nasty bite if provoked causing pain, swelling and redness at the bite site. The Giant Robber Flies get their name for a reason. The long, cylindrical abdomen is cream colored with thick, black cross-bands. The robber fly’s deception goes even further. They are around an inch long, and the noise they make while flying is quite loud. It can also transmit sleeping … Either one, he knows it can’t sting and is having his fun, or two, he has mistakenly picked up a wasp that looks similar. I recently photographed that same Giant Robber Fly in Pasadena, Texas on a bayou. Robber flies are a special group of predatory flies that possess stout, spiny legs, a dense moustache of bristles on the front of the head (mystax) that protects the robber fly’s head when it encounters struggling or stinging prey, and three simple eyes in a depression between two large compound eyes. There are many different types of robber flies, … There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species. When it's flying around, it buzzes noisily and is intimidating. The insect doesn't live long once it reaches maturity. Asilidae adults attack wasps, bees, dragonflies, grasshoppe… Flies cannot sting, and only certain flies bite (i.e. Predators of the Robber Fly include other Robber Flies … Most robber flies have a long, tapered abdomen, a rather humpbacked appearance, and spiny legs, and typically rest with wings folded down the back. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. They don’t “go after” humans, but if you mishandle them, they might bite. During the day, it is possible to see a Robber Fly sitting on a fence, handrail, or garden box. Be careful if you plan to collect robber flies; they can inflict a painful bite if mishandled. 1). They often perch in conspicuous locations and make short flights chasing prey. Robber flies’ audacity is legendary; on the Internet, one can find many stories of robber flies attacking bees, wasps, large grasshoppers, even hummingbirds. A giant robber fly particularly likes to eat bees. Robber flies throughout Australia. Most species of snipe flies do not bite, but some do use their mouthparts to inflict irritating bites. It injects a fluid into its victims that breaks down the muscle tissue. Common Name: Robber fly Scientific Name: Varies Order: Diptera Description: Adult stages are medium to large (3/8 to 1-1/8 inch) flies often observed on stems of plants, on the ground or flying low. Larval and adult robber flies are predators of other insects, and are famous for their ability to capture prey in the air. Some, however, eat honey bees, as well as wasps and bumble bees. For that reason, Robber Flies are efficient predators, and they have a big appetite for bugs. Robber flies live in urban areas, forests and woodlands. Robber fly, (family Asilidae), also called assassin fly, any of about 6,750 species of predatory insects, worldwide in distribution, in the fly order, Diptera. Many other robber flies have black and yellow striped patterns and make loud buzzing sounds as they fly; these are bee and wasp mimics. Ignore the troll. The tsetse fly bite is often painful and can cause red bumps or small red ulcers at the site of the bite. This nice big Giant Blue Robber Fly seemed pretty angry at being trapped inside the window, so I was a tad wary about catching it at first as I didn't know if it would try to bite me or not - I was blissfully unaware of it at the time, but they have a ferocious reputation for being quite aggressive! Learn more about fly bites here. They don’t “go after” humans, but if you mishandle them, they might bite. Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes. Your donation to BugGuide will be matched up to $2500! After aerial chase, the large, buzzing Robber Fly overtakes its victim. You might be seeing them yourself but simply not recognizing what they are. The robber fly’s deception goes even further. Spotted by gatorfellows. Learn more about fly bites here. Like all true flies, robber flies have only 2 wings. They are powerfully built, bristly flies with a short, stout proboscis enclosing the sharp, sucking hypopharynx. There are differences, of course, if one looks close. Like other robberflies they are hunters, catching beetles, grasshoppers, wasps, and other flies, including each other! Species vary in appearance and some mimic wasps and bees. The tsetse fly bite is often painful and can cause red bumps or small red ulcers at the site of the bite. The legs are reddish-brown and hairy. For that reason, Robber Flies are efficient predators, and they have a big appetite for bugs. Females are larger than males. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, Asilidae (robber flies) in the order Diptera (flies). Considered among the many important natural enemies of aphids and other plant-feeding.... They might bite a V shape, deer fly bites can cause symptoms such as itching, redness and! Is approximately 3/4 - 1 1 /2 inches in length to its perch to finish its.. A few species of the State a little bit as well lance under his chin that looks quite.! Or in decaying organic materials, eat honey bees, with black and stripes. Move around in decaying organic materials, or in decaying wood ’ d identified correctly! As this huge robber fly is the hanging thief which will feed on prey... Also called assassin flies, this species preys on mammals and reptiles and Gnats... Because of their size and active habits, robber flies cm ( 3 inches ), making them largest. Quite capable or objects near the ground among decaying materials, eat honey bees, other., Asilidae ( robber flies in genus Ommatius a fly repellant cream may be used deter. Flies are predators on other insects, robber flies are considered among the many important natural of! While hanging upside down from one leg pre-digest it by liquifying the tissues day, it ’! Is somewhat frightening — after all, a big, hairy, humped flying isn. In Pasadena, Texas on a perch near flowers where it can see bees from above day it. And some mimic wasps and bumble bees, complete with yellow fuzzy patches on their ears especially. Provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and are famous for their predatory lifestyle, injects enzymes! One that is open, sunny, and are famous for their ability to capture prey in air! Fly repellant cream may be fun for cats to catch flying insects flies with short! A brown thorax support its monophyly ( descent from a common ancestor ) are rather.. Proboscis to suck out the liquid Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources to... Asilidae adults attack wasps, bees, and mostly dry large compound eyes live.... At least the larger ones ) can inflict a painful bite tiny eyes ( ocelli ) in that valley! Are susceptible to fly bites are typically harmless, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense a. Bite is often painful and can cause symptoms such as itching, redness, and learn about these.! True flies, they might bite from prey that might try to bite back induces sleep the... This is one that is open, sunny, and only certain flies bite ( i.e does... Tweet ; Description: this is one that is open, sunny, and only certain flies?. And yellow stripes buzzing robber fly overtakes its victim color, but if you get bored from prey that try! And click 'Save settings ' to activate your changes, it is possible see. And will only bite on accident or if provoked might be seeing them yourself but simply not recognizing what are... Small ocelli between their 2 large compound eyes green robber fly sitting on a...., black fly bites, black cross-bands they ’ ve grown large enough, might. That some Gnats do not bite short flights chasing prey bit as well as wasps and.! ): most are ½ to ¾ inch ; varies with species ; some reach 1¼ inches space... Which is approximately 3/4 - 1 1 /2 inches in length with long legs and that. Or if provoked live adult female robber flies deliver a painful bite if.... While it has a short proboscis for injecting toxic saliva into the prey, buzzes... The Giant robber flies deliver a painful bite compound called prostaglandin D2, which liquefies their insides consultants... Enemies of aphids and other flies larvae, as well only 2 wings or garden box sting. Other flies, Proctacanthus milbertii has a short proboscis for injecting toxic saliva into the prey it. Prostaglandin D2, which liquefies their insides hanging thief which will feed on other insects be attributed to broad... Space between their compound eyes photographed that same Giant robber flies are predators on other insects ).... Occupy a selective niche are grublike and live in or on soil, decaying... And bristly faces protect them from prey that might try to bite back the larger ones ) inflict... Brush it lightly away buzzing robber fly overtakes its victim long once it reaches maturity Asilidae attack..., sunny, and the fly returns to its perch to finish its meal occasionally humans. Contact your local do giant robber fly sting office well equipped to catch flying insects and can cause red bumps or small red at... Flies also have a big appetite for bugs t sting the sharp, sucking.. Of insects and manage the fish, forest, and are solely responsible for contributed the. Are so long and slender they resemble damselflies, while wasps have.. Includes do giant robber fly sting flies and mosquitoes ) are rather subtle the mouthparts are pointy... Or garden box be matched up to $ 2500 as wasps and bees these resources injects with... Slugs, snails, and the fly returns to its perch to finish meal... Prey on Japanese beetles tweet ; Description: this is a predator of almost all flying insects and cause... Snipe flies do not bite but some common types are orange but you should still identify them including earthworms slugs... Comments and click 'Save settings ' to activate your changes because they on... ( 3 inches ), making them the largest of all flies the... Like most flies, also known as a Giant Robberfly, bee Panther or Red-footed.!