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Asilidae (Robber Fly)

Asilidae (Robber Fly)
Photo Information
Copyright: Jesus Linares (jlinaresp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1303 W: 56 N: 4023] (17292)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-04-19
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon SX 110 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/400 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite photos, Robberflies of South America [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-05-12 18:07
Viewed: 3799
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Asilidae (Robber Fly) II

This is another ugly Robber Fly... but this time eating a unfortunate wasp!

I think the picture has serious problems of overexposure and perhaps lack of colors. But I release some guilt, because I took it quickly, because this insects rarely can see with his prey and usually never stay still for long enough! It is like not enjoy eating in peace! :)

Other tips about the picture (I think good for those who use compacts an made macros):
-The day was cloudy, but with a whitish hue, the product of a glare from the light clouds. Them, I used the white balance set to cloudy.
-I decided to use f/4 and have more DOF than usual, because there was enough wind and the fly is moving (away and approaching) with the dry branch.
-I used the fill flash (1/3) due to low light and flat incidence directly of it.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Infraorder: Asilomorpha
Superfamily: Asiloidea
Family: Asilidae

* Apocleinae
* Asilinae
* Dasypogoninae
* Laphriinae
* Leptogastrinae
* Ommatiinae
* Stenopogoninae
* Stichopogoninae
* Trigonomiminae

Insects in the Diptera family Asilidae are commonly called robber flies. The family Asilidae contains about 7,100 described species worldwide.

All robber flies have stout, spiny legs, a dense moustache of bristles on the face (mystax), and 3 simple eyes (ocelli) in a characteristic depression between their two large compound eyes. The mystax helps protect the head and face when the fly encounters prey bent on defense. The antennae are short, 3-segmented, sometimes with a bristle-like structure called an arista.

The short, strong proboscis is used to stab and inject victims with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which paralyze and digest the insides; the fly then sucks the liquefied meal through the proboscis. Many species have long, tapering abdomens, sometimes with a sword-like ovipositor. Others are fat-bodied bumblebee mimics. Adult robber flies attack other flies, beetles, butterflies and moths, various bees, ants, dragon and damselflies, Ichneumon wasps, grasshoppers, and some spiders.

Adults lay eggs into soil or plants. The larvae are often found in decaying organic matter, such as dung heaps and rotting logs, but are also found in ordinary soil. In most species the larvae are omnivorous and are known to eat the eggs and larvae of other insects. Their life cycle ranges from 1 to 3 years.

5-30 mm (typically 9-15 mm)

-Medium-sized to large predatory flies, often perch in exposed location and make short flies after prey.

Typical family characteristics:
Top of head hollowed out between eyes, with three ocelli in this depression (diagnostic character)
body from very hairy to nearly bare typical body form elongated, with tapered abdomen, but other forms as well some groups mimics of hymenoptera.
Face usually "bearded", with prominent mystax.
Mouthparts modified to inject saliva into prey--saliva contains potent neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes.
Mouthparts similar in both sexes, unlike typical blood-sucking flies, such as Tabanidae.
Antennae with three segments, third segment elongate and often with terminal style.

CAUTION! Large Robberflies may bite if handled roughly.

For more INFO: (Family Asilidae - Robber Flies)

Thanks by stop and visit!


Make: Canon
Model: Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
Software: GIMP 2.4.3
Exposure Time: 1/403
F-Stop: f/4.0
ISO Speed Ratings: 80
Focal Length: 6000/1000 mm
Date Taken: 2010-04-19 13:49
Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
Flash: Flash fired
File Size: 277 kb

cicindela, maurydv, mwmod99, CeltickRanger, Silvio2006, marius-secan, Art_R has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Jesús

Que buena oportunidad en estas dos ocasiones con la misma mosca y esta vez en depredación.

Haces unas imagenes con mucha nitidez y bien tratadas (que tecnica).

Un saludo Antonio

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-05-12 20:53]

Hello Jesus
Excellent macro work with great scene and details
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-05-12 22:59]

Hello Jesus,
Great detailed macro shot.Razor sharp and the overcast conditions gave you wonderful light.
Exposure is spot on and the soft colored background against wich the robber fly does stand out perfectly is lovely.Perfect notes.
Best regards Siggi

Hola Jesus!
Very interesting picture both because of its quality and documentary value! I like a lot the moment you presented on the photo.
By the way, if you like robber flies, please feel free to look here and here where some other Asilidae flies with their preys were presented :)
Thank you for showing us this interesting photo.
All the best from Lodz,

Ciao Jesus,
un'altra fantastica immagine di questo insetto "vorace", non mancano le occasioni di vederlo con le sue prede, come in questa spettacolare composizione dai dettagli impressionanti, bellissimi i colori, eccellente punto di ripresa per un ottimo impatto visivo.
Grazie e complimenti
Buona giornata

Well captured astonishing moment, Jesus! Great Dept of field ! I love the fact that every important element of the frame is covered entirely in focus! Overexposed!?! I do not think so ! The presence of every detail is clearly visible! Fantastic moderate colors and eye pleasing viewing angle. Gentle use of fill in flash ! Really gooooood stuff, my friend!
George Veltchev

Hi Jesus,
I actually think your exposure has worked really well here as it gives some exceptional details and clarity to the image.I have never seen any thing like this, absolutely amazing. The intricate details on both wasp and fly are outstanding.Interesting note. TFS.

hello Jesus
this is SUPER SHARPNESS and great details
i like this one
beautiful naturel colours
greeting lou

That's a scary moment, Jesus, poor little fly.
Amazing to see how big the robberfly is, look at these big eyes, I like it so much.
You captured it with excellent sharpness, thank you and have a nice day
Sabine - wishnugaruda

hello Jesús

WOW ! what a great photo of « dead & life in the Nature »,
aoutch Jesús ! another time you are leaving me without words
in front of one of your photos, tout simplement SUPERBE,



Magnifica Jesus! Davvero una macro importante. Perfetta riuscita tecnica e compositiva.


  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-05-13 10:11]

Hi Jesus,
Another excellent photo of this Robber Flies, TFS!

Ciao Jesus, complimenti questa le batte tutte, mi dispiace per la povera vespa che si è sacrificata per farti fare questa macro, eccezionale per nitideza e dettagli, perfetta la messa a fuoco, complimenti, da National Geographic, bravissimo, ciao Silvio

Impresionante y precioso trabajo. Fotografías un díptero con la facilidad del que fotografía un caballo :-) Voto a esta que tiene las mismas características que la anterior pero esta con el aliciente de depredadado. El enfoque roza la perfección, al igual que la luz. La composición con la rama, muy lograda.
Ojalá te tuviera aquí para contarte mis problemas con la cámara, ahora por las manchitas que me salen y no son del espejo... ya tiemblo.

Saludos Jesús: J. Ignasi Tejedor.

The viewer really gets a load of detail in this super close-up of the robber fly. A well selected DOF brings the subject out into the clear where most macros with infinite settings(Smaller aperatures) DOF can be very distracting. Well done Jesus. :)

Hello Jesus,
Amazing capture with great details and exceptional focus.
Outstanding colours and sharpness.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-05-13 15:58]

Ciao Jesus,mamma mia che macro!!! Fantastica,eccezzionale,sei troppo bravo,e che tempismo nel catturare questo istante ineressante.Buon Venerdi' e complimenti,LUCIANO

very cool shot with great sharpness and details for this robber fly with prey
compliments and greetings


  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2010-05-15 6:11]

Hi Jesus , great photo of this robber fly with prey , lots of detail with a nice natural color , I think you managed the windy weather well , I certainly know how wind makes macro harder :-)

to my taste though the composition is not all there , I think that perhaps I would have tried subjects a bit lower , and a more squarish frame such as an 8x10 , to try to reduce the impact of the perch , it is quite strong and pulls attention a bit...


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