by Matthew Cobb
While I was asleep, my Tw**ps were chatting about robber flies. So I woke up to these great pictures. Robber flies – technically the family Asilidae – are strong and agile predators that as adults feed on other insects, sometimes much larger than themselves, catching them in the air. The result of such a chase is shown in this fantastic photo by Sarah J. Semmler (@SarahSyrphid), showing a robber fly that had just grabbed a meadowhawk dragonfly:
What a fantastic photo! Sarah also tw**ted this photo of a robber fly by Seth Patterson from Bugguide, pointing out the well-developed ‘claws’ on the end of the tarsi, and the spines all over the legs which would make it easier to grab prey in the air.
They will eat anything, including stuff much smaller than themselves, as seen in this photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim of a Pegesimallus fly…
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