The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Robber Flies

Afrikaans name: Roofvlieë

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Family Asilidae

Robber Flies are an incredibly large family of insects with over 7,000 species having been identified. They are found all over the world except for Antarctica. The main concentration of them is found in more tropical habitats.

Robber Flies are also known as Assassin Flies. They tend to perch on a pieces of grass or leaf and wait for suitable prey to fly past. They stab their prey with their short proboscis and inject them with a fluid that paralyses the victim. They will attack virtually any other insect including grasshoppers, butterflies, bees, beetles and dragonflies.

They are most often found in open areas which gives them plenty of space to look for prey.

References and further reading

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 148

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 72

The Insects of Southern Africa - Author: Margaret Bevis - Published: 1964 - Page: 149

Struik Pocket Guides for Southern Africa - Insects - Author: Erik Holm and Elbie de Meillon - Published: 1988 - Page: 38

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 64

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 374

Insectopedia - Author: Erik Holm - Published: 2017 - Page: 180

Pocket Guide - Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths - Published: 2015 - Page: 94

Remarkable Insects of South Africa - Author: Lambert Smith - Published: 2008 - Page: 24

Sasol First Field Guide to Insects of Southern Africa - Author: Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 45

Field Guide to Insects of the Kruger National Park - Author: Leo Braack - Published: 1991 - Page: 114

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 276

African Insect Life - revised edition - Author: S.H. Skaife - Published: 1979 - Page: 151


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