The Robber Fly (Asilidae sp.) is an insect. It is also known as the Assassin Fly.
The Robber Fly is hairy with bristles. Its body has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Its body is long and tapered, and can be brown, black, or grey. It has a short proboscis (sucking nose) and three simple eyes, called ocelli, between their two compound eyes. Its antennae are short with three segments. It has six spiny legs. It has a sharp ovipositor (egg-laying segment). It has smoky-coloured wings.
It measures 3-5 centimetres (1-2 inches) in length.
The Robber Fly is found in all countries and regions of the world, except Antarctica. It prefers open, sunny, dry habitats.
The Robber Fly is an aggressive feeder. It eats other insects, such as flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, bees, ants, dragonflies, damselflies, wasps, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. It stabs its prey with its proboscis, injecting it with saliva containing toxic enzymes.
The female Robber Fly lays eggs in soil or sand using her ovipositor. The eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae undergo metamorphosis and becomes a pupa. The adult fly emerges from the pupa.
The Robber Fly has a lifespan of 1-3 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM