Friday mystery object #344 answer

Last week I gave you this impressive insect to have a go at identifying:


No scale for this, but it’s probably safe to say it’s bigger than you’d be comfortable with.

By not giving the scale I was being a bit mean by holding back a useful clue. This fly (as recognised by palfreyman1414, Richard Blackmore and joe vans) is around 45mm long, making it one of the biggest of its kind – its kind being one of the Asilidae or robber flies.

The species is from Australia and it’s called the Giant Yellow Robber Fly Blepharotes coriarius (Wiedemann, 1830). They’re active hunters that prey on other insects, grabbing them in flight and carrying them off to a perch where they suck out their victim’s internal organs. Nice.

Apologies for the short answer this week – I’m just in the process of installing an exhibition and this specimen is one that is going on display to represent the Diptera. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some images of what I’ve been working on next week.

One thought on “Friday mystery object #344 answer

  1. So the thing is that the abdomen threw me, because it has the shape that isn’t quite wasp-waisted but still has that spindle shape I tend to associate with the hymenopterans. Also, since I couldn’t see any halteres I wondered if a pair of wings had fallen off or even been lost in some sort of mimicry (the red abdomen looked like some kind of warning?).

    It was the head with the giant compound eyes that made me feel this must be a fly.

    Is this sort of swelling abdomen common among the dipterans (mosquitoes, damn their hearts, apart)?

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