Any of about 4,000 species of predatory dipterans in the family Asilidae, found worldwide. Robber flies are the largest of all dipterans; some species are 3 in. (8 cm) long. Most have a dull-coloured, stout body resembling that of a bumblebee and a moustache of bristles between the large-faceted eyes. They use their long legs to capture insects in flight and hold them while eating; a fluid injected into the victim breaks down muscle tissue. A few species are serious pests of apiaries.
Robber fly (Asilidae)—William E. Ferguson
Variants of ROBBER FLY
robber fly or assassin fly
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on robber fly, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up robber fly? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.