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Robber Flies, Dance Flies and Stiletto Flies (Asilidae, Empididae en Therevidae)

Actually Robberflies, Stiletto Flies and Dance Flies are not very closely related. Yet we deal with them on one page, for their life style is similar. At least the ones in this page behave similarly: they all hunt for other insects. Most of them do this in a way comparible to the way many Dragonflies are hunting: in flight and often returning to a favourite spot.

Robber Flies (Asilidae) are unattractive and in close up even scary flies. The body is very elongated and often they are quite hairy. Some species are very common in gardens. The family is also known as Assassin Flies.
Dance Flies (Empididae) often look like Robberflies, but the majority of them is black. The bigger species have a very impressive snout. The males catch a prey and dance with it in small groups around a female, hence the name of the family.
Stiletto Flies (Therevidae) are best known from one species: Thereva nobilitata. That is quite an attractive animal covered in blond, or golden, hairs. Actually very little is known about the other members of this family. Except for Thereva nobilitata only very few species turn up in gardens.


photograph Machimus cingulatus
Brown Heath Robber Fly Machimus cingulatus

The Brown Heath Robberfly has banded legs. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Machimus atricapillus
Kite-tailed Robber Fly Machimus atricapillus

The Kite-tailed Robberfly does have two-coloured legs, but they are not ringed. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Neoitamus cyanurus
Common Awl Robber Fly Neoitamus cyanurus

In the Common Awl Robber Fly only the second part of the legs is yellowish brown. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Paritamus geniculatus
Paritamus geniculatus

Paritamus geniculatus is known to be a rare species. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Eutolmus rufibarbis
Golden-tabbed Robber Fly Eutolmus rufibarbis

The Golden-tabbed Robber Fly has slightly brownish wings. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Devon Red-legged Robber Fly
Devon Red-legged Robber Fly Neomochtherus pallipes

Light grey with extremely light legs: the Devon Red-legged Robber Fly. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Dune Robberfly
Dune Robber Fly Philonicus albiceps

The Dune Robber Fly prefers light and sandy soils, but doesn't live in dunes only. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Dioctria oelandica
Dioctria oelandica

Because its wings are black Dioctria oelandica is a very dark robber fly indeed. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Stripe-legged Robber Fly
Stripe-legged Robber Fly Dioctria hyalipennis

The Stripe-legged Robber Fly has the body of a wasp. More...


Family: Robber Flies (Asilidae)


photograph Empis tesselata
Empis tesselata

Empis tesselata is a big black Dance Fly in possession of an enormous snout. More...


Family: Dance Flies (Empididae)


photograph Empis opaca
Empis opaca

Of the big Dance Flies Empis opaca is the most common species. More...


Family: Dance Flies (Empididae)


photograph Empis ciliata
Empis ciliata

Empis ciliata is completely black and has very hairy legs. More...


Family: Dance Flies (Empididae)


photograph Hilara maura
Balloon Fly Hilara maura

The males of the Balloon Fly have a typical swelling in the front legs. More...


Family: Dance Flies (Empididae)


photograph Common Stiletto Fly
Common Stiletto Fly Thereva nobilitata

The Common Stiletto is a beautiful fly fully covered in golden hairs. More...


Family: Stiletto Flies (Therevidae)


photograph Stiletto Fly
Stiletto Fly Thereva species

Most cousins of the Common Stiletto Fly are greyish. More...


Family: Stiletto Flies (Therevidae)


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This page has last been modified on Wednesday, July 04, 2018.
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