Bee-mimic Assassin

I don’t often get the chance to photograph robber flies (Asilidae), so it was nice to have another opportunity this year during a visit to Halfmoon Lake Natural Area on the 13 June.

aphria sp. robber fly.

Laphria sp. robber fly, showing a fine mystax, the bristly hairs on the face which are believed to help protect it from injury when it tackles its prey.

I had just returned to my feet after crouching to photograph an awkwardly positioned jumping spider when I noticed the robber fly sitting on a leaf on the other side of the path. The camera had the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens attached, which magnifies from 1 to 5x, and is not the ideal lens for this size of an insect, which has the bulk  (and fuzziness) of a bumblebee. At about 18mm long, I could not ‘fit’ this fly easily onto the crop-sensor camera I was using (Canon 70D), even at the minimum magnification setting, so I opted to frame for a portrait.  I had the chance for two shots only, and the first was hopelessly out of focus. Because all the details required are not visible in this photo, an exact ID is not possible, but Dr Robert Cannings believes it is probably  L. posticata.

This entry was posted in Alberta, Asilidae, Canada, Canon, Diptera, Equipment, Insect, Lenses, macro, MP-E65, Predator, Season, Spring and tagged , , .