The Spring Heath Robber Fly (Lasiopogon cinctus) is an insect in the Asilidae family of robber flies.
The Spring Heath Robber Fly is hairy with bristles and smoky-coloured wings. Its body has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Its dark body is long and tapered with yellow-grey bands on its abdomen. 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 black legs. It has a sharp ovipositor (egg-laying segment).
It measures 1 centimetre (half an inch) in length, which is smaller than most Robber Flies.
The Spring Heath Robber Fly is found in Europe. It is not common. It prefers open, sunny, dry habitats, particularly heathlands, dunes, and sandy places. It is the first of the Robber Flies to emerge in spring in April and May (instead of June) in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Spring Heath 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 Spring Heath Robber Fly lays eggs in soil or sand using her ovipositor. The eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae undergo metamorphosis and pupate. The adult fly emerges from the pupa.
The Spring Heath Robber Fly has a lifespan of 1-3 years.
Location of photographers: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM