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Robber Fly - P. hinei (Promachus hinei)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Robber Fly - P. hinei



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The Robber Flies from the genus Promachus are quite loud, but that does not stop them from being very effective hunters.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Robber Flies eat all sorts of other flies as well as bees, wasps, beetles, and butterflies. If it flies and a Robber Fly can catch it, it becomes dinner. When a Robber Fly spies a resting insect, it can catch it and it becomes dinner. It is hard to outrun this zooming insect. For that reason, Robber Flies are efficient predators, and they have a big appetite for bugs.

During the day, it is possible to see a Robber Fly sitting on a fence, handrail, or garden box. It often hangs from branches or objects near the ground, waiting to ambush passing prey. After aerial chase, the large, buzzing Robber Fly overtakes its victim. Using its legs to grab it, the insect is carried to a nearby branch or leaf. The Robber Fly uses its hard mouth to pierce the body of its victim and then suck out the victim's insides.

Robber Flies are fast and loud. It is typical to hear one before actually seeing it. This particular species is yellow or tan with black spots along its abdomen. Its thorax is a brown hump. Large black eyes are separated by yellow hairs. Legs are red and black with spikes on them. likes to perch on vertical twigs and branches. Its larvae also eat insects, but they stick to prey on the ground.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Asilidae
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          Genus: Promachus
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            Species: hinei
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Promachus hinei
Other Name(s): Indiana Robberfly
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 40mm (0.70" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, black, white, orange, ivory
Descriptors: loud, buzzing, fast, hairy, flying
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 29mm
Hi: 40mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Robber Fly - P. hinei may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Robber Fly - P. hinei. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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