It’s robber-fly time

August is a good month to look for robber-flies. These animals are active predators that catch other insects on the wing. They act a bit like hawker dragonflies i.e. they sit on leaves watching and waiting and then shoot out and catch their prey when it passes by. This is the kite-tailed robber-fly Machimus atricapillus.

Machimus atricapillus
This is one of the medium sized robber-flies – it is identified from other species as it has brown coloration on the femur (the thigh). It is quite a common species on heaths and dry grasslands. This individual was photographed at Hembury Woods.

Machimus atricappilusIt has a southern distribution and is found on Dartmoor

The speciality robber fly at Hembury is the hornet robber-fly Asilus carbroniformis – a huge species with a yellow tail – unfortunately no sign of that species on my last visit….. – will have to go again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.