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Robber fly
Common Name:

Robber fly

Scientific Name:

Megaphorus willistoni

Unique Qualities:

Robber flies are common, swiftly flying predators, 5-30 mm long. They have stout, spiny legs, a dense "beard" of bristles on the face, and a depression in the forehead between the compound eyes.

Can be Seen:

Robber flies are distributed all over North America. They can be found mostly in British Columbia.

Likes to Hang Out:

Robber flies can be found in arid and sunny habitats. They also seem to prefer areas with lots of flowers, because that is where their favourite prey, small bees and wasps can be found.

Likes to Eat:

Robber flies have huge appetites and feed on a vast array of invertebrates, which may help to maintain a healthy balance between insect populations in various habitats. The adults attack wasps, bees, dragonflies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, other flies, and some spiders.


Although common elsewhere, the population of robber flies in British Columbia is classified as "critically imperilled" or threatened by the Conservation Data Centre of British Columbia (a government agency).

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