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  • Robberfly - (Laphria saffrana)

    Robberfly - (Laphria saffrana)

    This Robberfly looks like a yellowjacket, but it should instill more fear in other flying insects rather than people.

    Staff Writer (6/14/2017): Robberflies are aerial hunters. They hang on twigs and branches, waiting for a meal to fly by. Robberflies are extremely fast and chase down other flying insects. Once caught, the Robberfly will carry the insect in its jaws until it can rest, then it stabs the insect and sucks out its internal fluids.

    Species of Robberflies may vary in color and pattern. Laphria saffrana has a hairy 'beard' on its face and long, tapered abdomen ('tail'). The head and abdomen are covered in bristly yellow hairs and the legs are amber and yellow in color. A black thorax offers contrast to the bright yellow hairs that form an open circle around its edges. Two yellow spots are in the center of the open ring on the thorax. This marking sort of resembles a black pumpkin with two yellow eyes in it. Black wings fold over each other when at rest.

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    Details of the:

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Robberfly
    Scientific Name: Laphria saffrana

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Asilidae
           Genus: Laphria
            Species: saffrana

    Size (Adult, Length): 15mm to 22mm (0.59in to 0.87in)

    Identifying Colors: black, yellow

    Additional Descriptors: fast, hanging, attack, ambush, chase, furry, hairy

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; 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; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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