Deviant milkshake brings all the robber flies to the yard


Fun Facts

The common name for members of the Asilidae family is the Robber fly. This Robber fly (or informally called the ‘assassin fly’ and jokingly the ‘IRS fly’) prefers to hunt mid-flight and has a beak enclosing a dagger-like shaft. When stabbing its victim in the head or thorax, it injects a toxin containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes. Victims then become paralyzed, their insides liquefy, and the Robber fly then causally proceeds to drink the resulting ‘milkshake’, leaving nothing but an empty vessel!

Did you know?

Hardcore since birth, Robber fly larvae are also predacious, feeding on eggs, larvae, or other soft-bodied insects. Growing up, female Robber flies are known to be accidental cannibals if potential mates are smaller and get too close! Usually a case of mistaken identity (since a hungry Robber fly considers any insect smaller than itself to be a potential meal), the female's attack is so sudden that she  doesn’t even know she’s slurping on a Robber fly milkshake instead of beetle juice!

Whereabouts

Tropical or subtropical and arid or semi-arid regions tend to have the greatest variety of species, followed by areas where rainfall is highly seasonal.

 

 

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December 2019

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