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Robberfly (Promachus hinei)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Robberfly, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/24/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

Picture of Robberfly

The Robberflies from the genus Promachus are quite loud, but they are very effective hunters.

Robberflies eat all sorts of other flies as well as bees, wasps, beetles and butterflies. If it flies and they can catch it, it becomes dinner. If the Robberfly spies a resting insect and can catch it, it becomes dinner. Robberflies are efficient predators with a big appetite for bugs.

During the day, they hang from branches or objects near the ground, waiting to ambush passing prey. They chase them in flight, overtake them, and grab them with their legs. Once captured, the robber fly will stop at a branch or leaf and use its stiff mouth to pierce the body of its victim and then suck out the victim's insides.

Robberflies are fast and loud. It is typical to hear one before actually seeing it. This particular species likes to perch on vertical twigs and branches. Their larvae also eat insects on the ground.

Picture of the Robberfly
Picture of the Robberfly

Robberfly Information

Category: Fly or Mosquito
Common Name: Robberfly
Scientific Name: Promachus hinei

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Diptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Asilidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Promachus
       Arrow graphic Species: hinei

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 18 mm to 40 mm (0.702 inches to 1.56 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown, black, white, orange, ivory
Additional Descriptors: loud, buzzing, fast, hairy, flying

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; country of Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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