Robberfly (Laphria saffrana)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Robberfly, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 6/14/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This Robberfly looks like a yellowjacket, but it should instill more fear in other flying insects rather than people.
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.