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Photograph Size: A2 Size (42.0 x 59.4 cm)
Material: Photo Rag Paper

The robber fly, also known as the assassin fly, is named for its feeding habit – it literally robs its prey of life. With over 7,000 species described so far, the world of these robber flies is so diverse that an entire family, Asilidae, has been created for them.

Robber flies are robust and powerfully built, very agile and are experts in catching prey mid-air. They are ambush predators, with some species of robber flies searching and snatching prey but some species just patiently sitting and waiting on a small branch for its prey to pass by. Robber flies usually prey on other flying insects such as flies, beetles, bugs, moths and mosquitoes, as well as spiders on rare occasions.

They inject victims with their saliva containing neurotoxic enzymes to paralyze, and proteolytic enzymes to liquify the innards of their prey, that they then suck out. Vicious as they sound, they are important elements in the delicate food chain’ and help keep your backyards free from pests.

Robber flies are poorly studied in Malaysia, and as a result, are hard to find and confirm and identify. This image of a robber fly preying upon a signal fly was taken at Taman Rekreasi Tupah, Merbok in Kedah.

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