Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ABC Wednesday: R is for Robber Flies


ABC Wednesday: R is for Robber Flies
(in this case two male Efferia aestuans)

Robber Flies are in an insect family (Asilidae) where the question "Care to join me for lunch?" should never be answered in the affirmative.

Adult robber flies capture their prey on the wing. Just about any flying insect from leafhoppers to dragonflies to other robber flies is fair game. I have seen robber flies bring down insects two and three times their own size. Large prey they simply ride down to the ground. Small prey they will fly with to a feeding location of their choice. Robber flies stab prey with their sharp beaks and then inject a mixture of neurotoxins (for a quick kill) and digestive enzymes. They then suck out the partially pre-digested body juices of their victims.

Sources and links:
Cirrus Images
Herschel Raney's Random Natural Acts
Norman Lavers Robber Flies of Crowley's Ridge
BugGuide Efferia Page

Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for hosting ABC Wednesday.


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19 comments:

Dina said...

Such a dramatic picture! Are people on their prey list too??

Ida said...

Great shot!
Just GREAT!!! :)

My R

marlow said...

fine shot, nice makro, i like it, really great

Abraham Lincoln said...

I have seen these before but did not know their names.

evlahos said...

wonderful capture , very "national geographical". well done. and very interesting info too

nina said...

Such a charming date!

Picturing of Life said...

wow...great macro shot

Will you visit mine Thanks

Old Wom Tigley said...

I was settling down to homemade tomatoe soup with Basil.. ummm! tasty thought I.. until I got here.. :O)
I have heard of these before but never knew about this. It really is fantastic what legnths things go to for a meal.
Back to my soup now ;o) slurppp!

AphotoAday said...

Amazing!   It appears to be a brutal little world we all live in...

John said...

Amazing shot!

imac said...

Fantastic Macro Marvin, also interesting info.

Petunia said...

Well it is spring isn't it?
Great shot!
Petunia's ABC

leslie said...

VERY intriguing. I don't think I've ever heard of robber flies, but I'm quite interested in bugs. Just don't do snakes for S....ICK!
Come see my R today! :D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Marvin, I don't think I have ever seen these flies.

mrsnesbitt said...

Fascinating! Never witnessed anything like this before.

Lana Gramlich said...

Robber flies are so horrific in so many ways!

smilnsigh said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!

Your entry... Perfect... For eliminating appetite... Should be sold... To diet industry... -gasp-

:-)

Mari-Nanci
Photos-City-Mine

Q said...

A wonderful photo. Now I will see if these guys are around my house.
Sherry

TSannie said...

Wonderful R photo. Just discovered your site and it's one I'll be visiting!

I'm a transplanted Missouri girl and love our shared Ozarks. Some of the most beautiful land in the USA.