Robber Fly Click to enlarge image
Robber Fly Image: Bruce Hulbert
© Bruce Hulbert

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Family
    Asilidae
    Super Family
    Asiloidea
    Order
    Diptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    5 mm - 30 mm

Introduction

Robber flies are large, bristly flies that catch their prey (usually other insects) mid-flight.

Habitat

Robber flies live in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

Distribution

Robber flies throughout Australia. Because of their size and active habits, robber flies are one of the more common flies seen in Sydney.

Feeding and diet

Each leg of the robber fly has a pair of strong claws to catch their prey before injecting a powerful poison. Enzymes help to digest the meal and all that remains is the discarded exoskeleton (external skeleton).