Predator? - Machimus spp

pred.jpg (45101 bytes)





Not sure exactly what this is but it was flying across a track carrying what looks like a Bath white Pontia daplidice.

Anyone care to put a name to it, and a little background would be interesting too...

David Nash wrote in reply;
"It looks to me like a fine photograph of a robber fly - A member of the family Asilidae (within the order Diptera). I can't tell you which species I'm afraid, but the strong, hairy legs and "beard" are pretty typical ('though I'm not a Dipterist, and there are a few other small families of similar large flies. It's definitely a Dipteran!). The robber flies are all predators of other insects, often catching them on the wing, after which they take the insect to a roosting site and suck out it's innards... which
sounds exactly what you observed. They are also some of the biggest flies (i.e. Diptera) - I remember seeing some in Australia a good three inches long."

Bart Vanholder replied;

I promised the name of the predator fly you had in your pages: Last friday at the entomological meeting we had a glimp at your pic of the fly and the butterfly. It turned out to be Dasypogon diadema (Fabricius).
----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Coombes,

I found the photograph of an asilid fly on your web page "andal15.htm", which is named "Dasypogon diadema". I must correct this, you can find a b/w photograph of this species on:
http://www.geller-grimm.de/dasy.htm
D. diadema is a bee-hunter and a member of another subfamily (Dasypogoninae).

Your photograph shows a member of the subfamily Asilinae. I believe that this animal is a species of the genus Machimus and the species-group of setibarbus. A better determination is not possible, because you have to check the genitalia of this male. [I need also the place of this record]
Robber flies catch a lot of different insects, most of them are not specialized, an important parameter is the size of the potential prey.

 

Return
Back

Home


All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.