Jun 10 2016
Well, readers pounced on “Name That Insect” like an assassin fly.
Props to Lee, who accurately identified this insect as a “robber fly,” less than hour after I published the post.
But nice details from Lyn, who also buzzed in correctly, adding, “They are a predatory fly that captures its prey mid-flight. It then stabs its victim and uses its hypopharynx to suck the guts out of the unfortunate prey.”
Wikipedia offers similarly vivid imagery about the robber fly, which is also called an assassin fly:
It waits in ambush and “attacks its prey by stabbing it with its short, strong proboscis [ie, elongated, tubular mouth] injecting the victim with saliva containing neurotoxic enzymes, which rapidly paralyze the victim and soon digests the insides. The fly then sucks the liquefied material through the proboscis.”
Sounds like the insect world’s version of a mobster/alien — the stuff that keeps young flies and bees awake at night!