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Brown Heath Robber Fly Machimus cingulatus

Two species of Robber Flies frequently pop up in our garden and this is one of them. The other being the Common Awl Robberfly. They are very similar, but the Brown Heath Robber Fly is the only species with banded or ringed legs. It is 10 to 15 millimeters long and has a wingspan up to 40 millimeters. The adults are seen from July till September, peaking in August. Its main prey are cicadas, mosquitoes, gnats and other flies, especially hover flies.

The male is in the top picture. The two bottom pictures show a female. The sexes differ only at the end of the body. There the male has two small claws. The female has a dart shaped body. In many flies males and females can be told apart by looking at the eyes. Usually the male has bigger eyes, sitting closely together. The female has smaller eyes, wider apart. This is not true for Assassin Flies, so you have to look at the end of the body.