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Also known as assassin fles, this bristley, well built member of the Asilidae has been stalking our garden over the last 2 weeks. Flight is brief and upon disturbance has a 'bobbing' nature that ends with characteristic abdominal contractions apon landing. It favours slower moving prey in flight such as crane flies and bees. The body is 'stocky' with a greatly compressed thorax that ends in a defined hump higher than the head. The legs are long compared to body length and curl inwards at the first join and outwards again towards the end. This leads to the insect standing tall and in a 'ready position' to pursue prey. The eyes are large and very reactive to movement and light. At times, my lens reflected light onto leaves and the insects head would turn very quickly to ascess and then return to forward position. Eggs are laid directly into soil after male and female mate usually on the wing.
Robber flies excel in Subtropical forest margins and long grass beneath trees where high to mid level ambush positions can be found in the path of flying prey.
Very stable subject to photograph and was confortable with close up photography directly in front. Skittish on vegetative movment or a shadow falling on it.
Spotted on Dec 17, 2018
Submitted on Dec 17, 2018
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