The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Spider-wasp Robber Fly

Afrikaans name:

Spider-wasp Robber Fly

Above - Spider-wasp Robber Fly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Proagonistes praeceps

The Spider-wasp Robber Fly is a large insect with a wingspan of up to 7 cm Their body is black, but they have an orange head with black eyes. The first segment of the legs is black and the rest orange-brown.

These insects are found in coastal bush in subtropical areas. They perch on tree trunks and wait for prey to come past.

Spider-wasp Robber Flies eat a variety of insects with wasps being a particular favourite.

The photograph shown was taken in Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve. I was walking through one of the forested sections when I saw and photographed this insect. After that I had the distinct impression that it followed me for a little while as I saw it perched on the nearest tree to me for the next 20 or 30 metres. Perhaps it was seeing if I disturb any potential prey as I walk. I presume that it was the same individual as I didn’t see them before or after.

References and further reading

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 280

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