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Nature’s killer

Nature’s killer
Photo Information
Copyright: Paulo Henrique Lopes Rodrigues (phlr) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: FujiFilm FinePix 6900 Zoom, Fujinon 6x zoom, Digital
Exposure: f/4.4, 1/300 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Robberfly [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-08-14 11:27
Viewed: 4862
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 75
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I never saw such kind of this insect. It was the first time I saw and photograph a scene like that.
I know that the “victim” is a bee (Apis melífera), and the "Killer" a robber fly (Machimus atricapillus).
Survive and be alive is one of Nature’s laws.
Eat or being eaten is another Nature’s law.
Sometimes, we have the opportunity to find and see scenes like this one.
Apis melifera is a common bee, all around the world, that produces honey.
What I didn’t know is that it has this kind of predator.
The photo was taken on a hot summer day, by morning, around 10:30.

Thnks to Lukas Joerg, from Switzerland and Gert Ellstrom, from Sweden, now I have the ID of predator!

goldfinchtr, lucky, wallhalla15, pgmoni, carper, cedryk, PDP, AndyB, wishnugaruda, klemmg, liquidsunshine, marhowie, novaman, Luc, gerhardt, hummingbird24, goutham_ramesh, cmarzano, pitai, firelord, gurupawan, Nephrotome2, sily, anavazao, danbachmann has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sily: Hi Tanja!phlr 1 06-08 17:48
To Nephrotome2: Hi JeanMarie!phlr 1 05-16 05:57
To lejczer: Hi Lilianna!phlr 1 05-05 04:06
To gurupawan: Hi Guru!phlr 1 04-30 10:30
To jcoowanitwong: Hi Jitti!phlr 1 04-18 04:53
To anavazao: Hi Ana!phlr 1 04-10 13:25
To pitai: Hi Gabriel!phlr 1 03-27 16:27
To akruger: Hi Andre!phlr 1 03-22 03:29
To cmarzano: Hi Carlos!phlr 1 03-17 03:47
To saguzar: Hi Hernan!phlr 1 03-03 16:22
To goutham_ramesh: Hi Goutham!phlr 1 02-21 03:37
To jchemas: Hi Jorge!phlr 1 02-20 16:29
To ellis49: Insect IDphlr 1 08-14 12:14
To lucky: ID of insectphlr 1 08-14 12:13
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Paulo,

Very interesting specie.I have no idea too.Timing is perfect.Good details .


  • Great 
  • lucky Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 63 W: 5 N: 14] (84)
  • [2005-08-14 11:53]
  • [+]

Hello Paulo, I think this is a robber fly (Machimus atricapillus)... There are several similar species of this kind and they are not easy to distinguish...
Nice shot of this one, especially with the bee...
Well seen and good shot!

Very good macro, Paulo.
I'm agree with Lukas about the ID.
You caught a good moment. Nice colours, good POV and details.
Very well done.

Paulo, very good shot. Great POV and very good details. Good visual impact. TFS.

Very crisp macro, Paulo. Good diagonal composition. I was not familiar with this critter but have learned about it on this site. There are more than a page of other robber fly posts - just key in "robber" in the search block.

Good shoot!
Ciekawy moment.

  • Great 
  • pgmoni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 343 W: 100 N: 637] (2769)
  • [2005-08-14 13:38]

Wonderful document. The size of this Asilid is impressive !

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-08-14 14:15]

very good macro Paulo,
What a killer Paulo, the photo is well taken and the details are super, the pov is good and the dof is great, very good job,
gr. jaap

GREAT monet! O love looking your pictyre full of colours and action!

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2005-08-14 15:12]

A great shot however rather out of focus. Anyway you managed to catch the fly in a right moment. It ilustrates well that even a bee that may protect itself with a sting is not safe from robber flies :-)

I have probably the same species taken:
and here the other species of robber fly

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-08-14 16:09]

Hi Paulo, nice capture.It certainly is a Robber fly (family Asilidae). Be careful about assign a specific name as there are many similar species.

You did very well to get this fly with a bee, I've not seen one with this prey before.

Good composition and lighting. I think it could have been a little sharper in focus, but apart from that it's great. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-08-14 16:14]

hello Paulo,
An excellent action shot.
Very good composition,nice lighting and good details.
First time I've seen one of these with such large prey.
A great capture,well done!


Hi Paulo, this is sprectacular.
You had a lot of luck to see this szene.
Poor bee.
But a very interesting shot you can show us, thanks a lot
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Good 
  • klemmg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 40 N: 484] (1719)
  • [2005-08-14 17:22]

Good action shot, very interesting! Composition wise, I suggest a tighter crop to get rid of some of the distracting BG (change from landscape to portrait would get rid of criss-crossing lines left and green on right).
Well done, and TFS!

Great shot Paulo.
Good detail and great POV. Nicely exposed. Well composed. good framing, good colours & Well captured, thanks for posting.

Hi Paulo,
An excellent capture. well composed and framed. You have captured a special moment! Nice Job!

Hello Paulo, Nice shot of this robber with prey. The honey bee is its favorite victim BTW. Good details, light and color. I think a bit more DOF would improve this one, Well done.

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-08-15 15:04]

Hello Paulo,
Interesting action shot. Never saw a honey bee cought by a robberfly. The light on the insect and the twig is a bit harsh I think, but a well seen shot.
Thank you for sharing.

Great moment, very difficult to find.

You said "Sometimes, we have the opportunity to find and see scenes like this one." Yes, but you did a great job to capture it so well.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-08-24 19:34]

Hi Paulo Henrique! I do not have the time to write a decent comment. I give to you the well deserved smiley.

" Smiles are the soul's kisses. " (Minna Thomas Antrim)
" The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul. " (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Thank you for sharing pictures and notes and for the enjoyment which they give to me.

Have a wonderfull morning, afternoon, evening, night!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-08-25 10:52]

what a scene! cruel world... very good compo, focus on subject. great details. tfs

  • Georges Silver Star Critiquer [C: 31 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-10-31 4:55]

un insecte que je ne connais pas beaucoup et c'est votre note tres détaillé qui m'en apprend un peut plus sur lui.
Pour ce qui des détails rien a redire meme si la lumiere reste un peut forte.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2005-12-12 8:25]

Incredible shot ! Great subject and perfect technique !


I find it very hard to ID these critters. Yoou got some nice action here and judging by the size of the bee a large fly. The "hot" grass/twig it sits on is a bit distracting but still an awesome scene.

Your timing is perfect for this photo, Paulo, as it is not always easy to find scenes like this one to photograph.

It is the embrace of death of the animal kingdom, and you have captured it very well.

Good composition, details, lighting and POV.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-01-28 2:23]

Hola Paulo.
Interesante e intrepida foto,buen momento, buena composicion y detalles.

Hello Paulo
Beautiful shot.
Great BG and very good POV. Excellent composition.
Details and colors are excellent


What a great shot of robberfly!
Excellent composition , colors and DOF.
and a very useful note too
Goutham R

Ola Paulo,
muy buena foto, en excelente momento (no creo que lo haya sido para la abeja..). Muy buen macro y detalles, pero no tanto en las alas del M. atracapillus.
Saludos desde Argentina

Creo que la foto es excelente por 2 razones :es una instantanea dificil de lograr por la velocidad con vuelan las moscas asesinas,son muy esquivas y no se ven frecuentemente en esta posicion.En segundo termino esta a foco desde el punto de vista documental-naturalistico lo suficiente como para ser evidente lo que se muestra .

Hi Paulo, excellent photo. This is again one of those rare once in a lifetime shots. This is why I never go anyware without my camera. The composition,focus DOF, and lighting is perfect. Well done and keep shootin!!

  • Great 
  • pitai Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 193 W: 15 N: 155] (1212)
  • [2006-03-27 6:51]
  • [+]

Ola Paulo, eu descobri este insecto a pouco tempo. nunca tinha dado por ele. E como tu fiquei espantado. Mas estou ainda mais espantado de saber que tambem existe em Portugal. wow! Gosto muito do momento que captastes. Uma toma muito dificil e muito bem conseguida. parbens. um abraco, gabriel

Hej Paulo!
Nie codzien widzimy takie sceny. Choc okrutne, ale prawdziwe. U nas mowi siê "prawo dzungli" [law of the jungle]. Dobrze, ze to uchwyciles i moge to zobaczyc. Pozdrawiam serdecznie

Another great shot with good details, colours, POV....
Great perspective and note!
Thanks Ana:)

A rare opportunity to witness such activity. Good composition,very well done.

Hi Rodrigues,
WOW this is a great shot of robber fly , never had seen it with a kill , lovely macro.



Great composition, and DOF. Incredible sytuation...
Good photo

Am I the only one who spots 3 bugs in there?
There is one left to the eye of the honey bee. A small one. It has the size of the honey bee. Head pointing below and with silver wings.
I find it very interesting that this third one has joined for diner. Even more interesting than the capture of a honey bee by a robber fly.
Don't know the ID of this little one, though.

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2006-06-06 17:45]
  • [+]

I just thought the same, I have never seen something like this, this is really great luck, fantastic pick!I'm out of words!

Interesting moment caught here. I've never seen such a thing. Thanks for sharing.

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