First Robber Flies of the season!


This morning, on another dog walk at Mt. Tolmie, I came upon my first Robber Fly of the year. It was perched on a closed Camas bloom, which wasn’t very pleasing, so I nudged it onto some other substrates. Because it was a cool and wet day, the robber obliged and did not flee. I do not know what species it is, but it looks to be a small male Laphria, which are known as the “Bee-like Robber Flies”. The Robber Flies )Family Asilidae) are some of my favourites, as they are often showy, have spectacular predation behaviour and can turn their heads to track flying prey!

After shooting the fly on several different backgrounds, I put him on an oak twig, figuring it would be a good place to catch the sun and warm up. To my surprise, a second male robber was perched on the very next twig! Please enjoy the following  pictures responsibly, and if you have a fly-gasm, try to muffle yourself if you are in public.

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Of course the robbers were not the only flies out there:


relatives of the Asilidae are the Empidae, or Dance Flies.


a wet Calliphorid


A Tipulid in the grass


On the subject of Tipulids, check out this spectacular male Tiger Crane Fly I found yesterday!




6 thoughts on “First Robber Flies of the season!

  1. (That last ‘novoline’ message is spam) Great shots, Sean. It does make me wonder when I go out for bug photography if I am seeing everything there is to see. You always seem to get a wealth of subjects in an outing, whereas I often struggle to find anything photogenic. I should try to get out into the field with an entomologist sometime, maybe I could pickup some tips!

    • As far as I can tell, it is just luck! Here the insect season is really starting to heat up. We went out yesterday and saw a wealth of spiders, so I will try to get out this morning to see what they are feeding on.

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