Robber_fly.JPG (29038 bytes)Robber Flies: are members of the large Asilidae family. Members of this family are predatory flies. The Robber Fly illustrated is common around Yallaroo. This individual was photographed resting on a solar light and may be a Blepharotes species.
Robber Flies are large insects that may have a wing span of 75 millimetres. Their heads are big with prominent, well separated eyes. They are bristly with strong legs. Some species mimic wasps.
Robber Flies are aggressive predators and mainly inhabit open, forest country. They are partial to other flies, bees and wasps but will attack all insects including dragonflies and beetles. Prey is taken on the wing, held by the powerful legs (see claws on each leg) and body juices are sucked out via the sharp proboscis. The proboscis is strong enough to pierce the wing cases of large Christmas Beetles and will also painfully pierce the skin of any human unwise enough to catch one. Spiders also appear on their menu. 
Their larvae are grub-like, cylindrical and tapering at both ends. They live in moist soil and rotting wood.
As with many Australian insects not a lot is known about the life history of Robber Flies.