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Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events

Do Robberflies bite/sting humans?

I'm wondering if Robberflies bite. In particular, Proctacanthus milbertii has a nasty looking lance under his chin that looks quite capable.

Also, do Robberflys inject a venom into their prey?

....Ed Johnson....

Robber fly kills bird
Eleven days after Ed Johnson posted this near miss he observed a Mallophora successfully kill a hummingbird. Thanks to Eric Fisher for the link.

If handled roughly, robber flies (at least the larger ones) can inflict a painful bite. They practice "extraoral digestion," which means they shoot enzymes into their prey to pre-digest it by liquifying the tissues. Would probably destroy human tissue a little bit as well. They probably do inject a venom as well, to stop their prey from struggling, accounting for how some can bring down large grasshoppers, or even dragonflies!

Thanks, Eric.

I saw a Mallophora leschenaulti (Beelzebub Bee-eater) attack and chase a Hummingbird today! Fortunately, he never did make contact and the hummingbird could fly faster than the huge robber and got away. We've had a number of these Mallophora around my place in the Texas Hill Country lately.


I'm the "predator defender".
Without them, the animals they eat become less healthy. Predators are possibly the most important animals to have around. It can be sad to see them catch a "cute" animal meal, but those cutties need it in the long run.
(BTW: hummingbirds kill thousands of bugs in their life)

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