Milbert’s Proctacanthus (Robber Fly)

I have a special love for this family of flies, who are all voracious, energetic predators (both as larvae and adults) and who all look like grumpy Muppet hobos. Robber flies in general tend to be large, with long legs, a long, tapered abdomen and a big, fluffy “beard” obscuring some pretty serious mouthparts. They…

Longlegged Fly

Technically, “longlegged fly” describes the family, not this individual species, but that’s the common name for Condylostylus longicornis. This small, iridescent green fly with red eyes is tiny — about 5mm (I need a better measurement, I describe everything as 5mm) — and fast! This individual really, really wanted to sit on that plant, but…

Mydas Fly

I thought I’d snuck a photo of a wasp (most wasps are not tolerant enough to let my camera get close) until I got the photos home and had a better look. This 35mm long insect is a wasp mimic — a clever fly which makes its living by looking like something much pointier and…

Black Horse Fly

Anyone who has owned livestock will know this inch-long black fighter jet of a fly. Black horse flies (Tabanus atratus) are huge, loud, and persistent attackers of mammals in the females’ quest to get a blood meal in order to reproduce. They fear no swatter. A million years ago, I worked at a wolf sanctuary,…