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Genus Promachus - Giant Robber Flies

Robberfly - Promachus vertebratus Robberfly? - Promachus hinei Asilidae species? - Promachus bastardii - male trying to get through the window This robberfly is caught. - Promachus rufipes Asilidae possibly Promachus albifacies - Promachus albifacies - male ? - Promachus Robber Fly - Promachus rufipes - male Asilid - Promachus nigrialbus - male
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily Asiloidea
Family Asilidae (Robber Flies)
Subfamily Asilinae
Genus Promachus (Giant Robber Flies)
Other Common Names
Bee Killer
Pronunciation
prom'-uh-kus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Promachus Loew 1848
Explanation of Names
Greek: promachos (προμαχος) 'defender, champion' (from pro 'before' + machesthai 'fight')(1)
Borror(2) translates promachus as "challenger"; and Wikipedia gives "who leads in battle", and lists several historical greek figures referred to by the name.
Numbers
22 spp. in our area, ~220 total(3)
Size
20-35 mm
Identification
Large robber flies with tiger-stripe pattern on abdomen
Range
worldwide, almost 3/4 of the spp. in the Old World tropics; in the New World, US to Chile (P. dimidiatus ranges into Canada), in our area mostly western (just 3 spp. occur in the Atlantic states)(3)
Habitat
Meadows, fields
Season
Jun-Aug in north; Jul-Sep in GA (several spp.)
Food
prey: insects, often Hymenoptera
Life Cycle
Eggs are typically laid on ground near grass roots. Larvae burrow into soil, feed on soil insects, roots, and decaying matter. Pupation is in an unlined cell in the soil.
See Also
Print References
Hine J.S. (1911) Robberflies of the genera Promachus and Proctacanthus. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 4(2): 153-172
Internet References