Thursday, August 19, 2010
Giant Robber Fly
If you think this robber fly looks big, that's because it is kind of big. It looked to be about the same length as a bumblebee. That tail looks kind of like a scary stinger, but I'm pretty sure it's just a long tail, an ovipositor. That doesn't mean this robber fly isn't something to be avoided though. They can bite.
This one didn't seem to be very bothered by my presence there. That's usually a sign that a creature either can defend itself pretty well or that it's sick. This bug was definitely not sick. So I decided that it might be wise to watch it closely while I took my pictures of this ugly bug.
This particular fly is a killer. It stabs other insects with its proboscis and injects them with venom, which liquefies their insides. Then it uses the proboscis to suck out the liquid. A giant robber fly particularly likes to eat bees.
It waits on a perch near flowers where it can see bees from above. It will then swoop down and grab them right out of the sky. When it's done eating the bee, it drops them onto the ground. They are known to leave bunches of bees near the same close area.
Today's bug was a truly ugly creature. Nature isn't always pretty. Tomorrow I'll bring you something more on the pretty side of nature. After all, it's mostly the beauty we like to focus on anyway. But sometimes we have to remember that the ugly is out there too, like this robber fly.
Nature Center Magazine - Today Copas takes us on a tour of the state of Maine. Maine is known for its beautiful nature, so this should be good one.