Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
BIG Robber fly - Proctacanthus heros

BIG Robber fly - Proctacanthus heros
Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
August 14, 2006
Size: ~5 cm
These monster robber flies have been somewhat abundant on my hikes through this trail. You can hear them buzzing before they zip in from the canopy.

This photo was taken at the Frenchman's Forest Natural Area.

Moved from Proctacanthus.

Moved from Robber Flies. Thanks for the info guys, once I get my hands on a metric ruler, I can guesstimate the body size more accurately. But I've shot Proctacanthus before, and these are the biggest I've ever seen...In fact, I'll add an additional shot of another individual...

I believe
this is Proctacanthus rufus. You have two big red jobs like this in Florida, just as we do here in Arkansas, P. rufus and P hinei. P. hinei, at least by us, is an animal of sandy beaches and open areas along a river or canal; P. rufus is more likely on a marshy, overgrown wide area along a creek going through woods, more the sort of place you seem to be describing. The male P. rufus also has narrower genitalia than P. hinei, but these relative things are not too helpful when you only have one to look at.

Nice photo of a very nice robber.

I think this may be the SE focused Proctacanthus heros Norm. They are even larger than the other species. And they like these forested trails. P hinei and rufus are darker legged and even I haven't seen one of these get to 45 mm or larger.

I'll defer to someone with more experience with all three than I have (but I'll wait for a chance to get even, so be very careful from now on).