T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Robber) Family: Asilidae

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Infraorder: Asilomorpha
Superfamily: Asiloidea
Family: Asilidae
Species: There are over 7000 described species.

The Asilidae are the robber fly family, also called assassin flies. They are powerfully built, bristly flies with a short, stout proboscis enclosing the sharp, sucking hypopharynx. The name "robber flies" reflects their notoriously aggressive predatory habits; they feed mainly or exclusively on other insects and as a rule, they wait in ambush and catch their prey in flight.

Robber flies have stout, spiny legs and they have three simple eyes (ocelli) in a characteristic depression on the top of their head between their two large compound eyes. They also have a usually dense moustache of stiff bristles on the face; this is called the mystax. The mystax has been suggested to afford some protection for the head and face when the flies deal with struggling prey; various Asilidae prey on formidable species including stinging Hymenoptera, powerful grasshoppers, dragonflies and even other Asilidae, in fact practically anything of a suitable size. In general, this family of flies attacks a very wide range of prey, including other flies, beetles, butterflies and moths, various bees, ants, dragon and damselflies, ichneumon wasps, grasshoppers, and some spiders.



 

 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information:
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