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Photographed near my house in Austin. Robber fly insects are a mixed blessing to gardeners; if they’re seriously perturbed, they can inflict a painful bite, but they also help rid the garden of harmful pests like grasshoppers, other flies, wasps, leafhoppers, white grubs and pupating beetles. El Paso County Office 301 Manny Martinez Senior Dr. 2nd Floor El Paso, TX 79905; el-paso-tx@tamu.edu; Phone: 915-771-2354; 915-771-2356 Robber flies are distinctive, medium-sized to large, bristly or hairy flies. The legs are reddish-brown and hairy. Subfamily Dasypogoninae. The Asilidae are a family in the order Diptera, the true flies.The common name for members of the family is the robber flies.The Asilidae are cosmopolitan, with over 7000 described species. Robber flies are predators on other insects, as you might expect. I recently photographed that same Giant Robber Fly in Pasadena, Texas on a bayou. Robber fly, (family Asilidae), any of about 6,750 species of predatory insects, worldwide in distribution, in the fly order, Diptera. Robber Flies eat an assortment of insects like biting flies and other flying insects like bees, butterflies, and wasps. Very large, appears black in normal light, hump-backed, hairy, and burly. The Asilidae are the robber fly family, also called assassin flies. They are powerfully built, bristly flies with a short, stout proboscis enclosing the sharp, sucking hypopharynx. Spotted by gatorfellows. The Efferia species robber fly shown here was at Bentsen State Park, Hidalgo Co., Texas, in June, 2008. Robber flies are a diverse group of predatory flies that typically perch in an open area, swiveling their heads to look around, then flitting out to chase insect prey. The robber fly shown here, apparently another Efferia species, was in Madera Canyon, Davis Mountains, Jeff Davis Co., Texas, in June, 2005. Possibly the world's ugliest robber fly Mallophora leschenaulti. There are over 1,000 species of robber flies (family Asilidae) in North America; and nearly 100 have been recorded from the Upper Midwest. Robber Flies Asilidae of Goodwell and Texhoma Texas County, Oklahoma by Kurt Schaefer Click on image to see additional views of species Subfamily Asilinae - Subfamily Dasypogoninae - Subfamily Laphrinae - Subfamily Stichopogoninae. Most have a long, tapered abdomen, a rather humpbacked appearance, and spiny legs, and typically rest with wings folded down the back. Latreille was the authority for establishing the family in 1802. Contact. The next two images of an unknown Efferia species were taken in Starr Co., Texas, in May, 2010. This is one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus Promachus. Shelly (1986) reported that of the nine Neotropical Asilidae species he studied, diet constituents were more than 85% composed of insects from the orders Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, and … The common name for this group comes from their ferocious manner of pouncing from the air on their prey. Ospriocerus latipennis. During the day, the Robber Fly hangs by its front legs from branches or objects near the ground, waiting to ambush passing prey. An introduced species in Texas, and rather rare, at least so far. This species particularly likes bees and dragonflies as well as biting flies. Robber flies are opportunistic predators, their diets often reflecting prey availability in a particular habitat. Field Guide: Fireflies of Texas by Ben Pfeiffer Texas is one of the most bio-diverse states in the continental US. Maybe 4 cm long. 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