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Robber Fly ? - Cerotainiops

Robber Fly ? - Cerotainiops
Imperial County, California, USA
August 30, 2005
Size: 1/2 inch

Niland CA
I saw it last year while Dove hunting. I did not see one this year.

just east of the Salton Sea, alt. nearly -43 m; good to have as a reference.

Where I saw it
If you go through Niland go past niland about 2 miles and make a left till you hit the irrigation canals. I saw it there. At night during the summer if you put up a lantern you will get lots of Preying mantis, longhorn beetles , huge spiders with the babies onits back and lots of other bugs. It is a Macro shooters dream. Check out the 1st 7 pictures in this gallery

I only took a few this year till our lantern broke.

very nice!

Cerotainiops -
Would you mind sharing where in Imperial County (as you know, its a big area) you photographed this fly? Great photo!

As with most California robbers there are no images and there is very little help. The antennae make this likely a member of the Laphriinae and the overall gestalt makes it likely one of the members of the small genus Cerotainiops. There is only one eastern species. There are five others limited to California and Arizona. I don't have a key to any of the CA species but this is not the eastern C. abdominalis. It is a lovely robber and I wish we had them. Nice shot. If I can get the NA expert Fisher to have a look I will. Send me the shot if you would like me to try him. He is fairly tolerant of my disturbing his busy, buggy life.

Eric Fisher confirms this is a Cerotainiops. He says he would need further info and angles to decide on species. I am frankly amazed there are several with bright red abdomens. Cool.

Yes, it is a robber fly. We have several fly experts who visit, and one of them can probably tell you what genus this is. I'm curious to know myself:-)

I looked through the Robber pics but did not see an Orange one .

Thanks again