Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Riverwalker's Pics - Trioria Interrupta

Trioria interrupta is better known as the robber fly. It is the ultimate aerial predator of the insect world. It will swoop down on its unsuspecting prey and literally knock them out of the air. They readily attack insect prey which is much larger than themselves, including wasps, grasshoppers, dragonflies and horseflies. They will then inject a toxin that will create a gelatinous goo for their consumption.

The large, gray pattern with dark patches on the abdomen is an easily recognizable and distinctive pattern among many robber fly species in the United States. They range from the Carolinas as far west as Arizona and south to Florida. They do have a painful bite but have a preference for nice, juicy horseflies.

The photo above shows a close up view of a female robber fly with a large ovipositor that is rounded at the tip. 

Got aerial predators?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

I didn't even know of their existence. I'm sure glad they are small - imagine the panic if these things were 'people sized'.

idahobob said...

Man.....could we use a few of those up here. Deer Flies/Horse Flies.....hey, do they attack mosquitoes, also?

Could be a BIG mail order business for RW.

Whaddaya think?


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:42

Most people would be surprised just how many creatures live in their own backyards. I did my best to get some good close-up shots even though I'm just an amateur photographer. The subjects of my photos are usually pretty camera shy.

Robber flies are very beneficial in helping to control insect populations.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: idahobob

If you've got horses, you'll have horseflies. Lots of people spend tons of money to treat their horses because flies can be a big problem for their horses.

Robber flies do a pretty good job of keeping horseflies in check but I'm afraid they probably won’t do well in a northern climate. They're pretty much limited to the southern areas as far as I know.

Thanks Bob III.


Blazing Toaster said...

How big is it?Is it bigger than normal flies?

riverwalker said...

To: Blazing Toaster

The first pic shows one sitting on a rock. There's a mulberry plant leaf that shows up on the side of the pic. They're about one inch long (25mm) which makes them considerably larger than a common housefly but comparable in size to a dragonfly.

Thanks Blazing Toaster.


chuzin said...

Just swatted one in Buffalo, NY. Did not know what it was. I have small children and this thing was big and scary. Do they leave a mark if they bite a person?

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