Did You Know? Incredible Robber Fly Facts

Interesting robber fly facts for kids.

One of the powerful, large, and dominant flies, the Robber flies are also known as the 'Assasin flies.' The scientific name of the species is Asilidae and the flies are found throughout the world except for Antarctica. According to a study, there are around 7000 species of robber flies as of now.

These flies are known for their amazing predatory skills, they primarily prey on insects including butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, bees, wasps, ants, crickets, and many more and also have a painful bite. Some of the flies could get big up to 3 in (8 cm) which makes them even more huge. These flies can easily be spotted in hot places, like deserts. In India, France, and part of North America, robber flies are quite common. Due to their aggression and dominance, 'Robber Flies' became the common name of these insects. Keep on reading to learn more interesting things about Robber flies.

If you want to know more exciting information about different animals, check out the Africanized bees and Christmas beetle.

Robber Fly

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Bees, butterflies, wasps, moths

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

75-150 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

How tall are they?

0.3-0.6 in (1-1.5 cm)

What do they look like?

Black, yellow, gray

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Dragonflies, animals

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Deserts, forests, grasslands


North America, India, France





Scientific Name






Robber Fly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Robber Fly?

Robber flies are insects and can easily be found in yellow, gray, and black colors. These flies are known for aggressive and dominant predatory skills.

What class of animal does a Robber Fly belong to?

Robber flies belong to the Insecta class, Asilidae family, and the genus of Brachycera. These flies are also known as the assassin flies.

How many Robber Flies are there in the world?

Robber flies can easily be found throughout the world except for the coldest continent, Antarctica. We do not have the exact population of robber flies but according to a study, there are around 7000 species of robber flies in the world as of now and out of those 7000 species, more than 1000 are found alone in the United States.

Where does a Robber Fly live?

These insects primarily live in hot and arid places such as deserts, forests, grasslands. The robber flies are mostly found in India, France, and different countries of North America.

What is a Robber Fly's habitat?

A robber fly habitat could be anything, be it a small plant, the bark of wood, or any dead trees so that they can easily prey on other insects but the larvae live in the soil.

Who do Robber Flies live with?

These insects are generally solitary but some may live in groups depending on situations such as mating or preying on other insects.

How long does a Robber Fly live?

The average lifespan of a robber fly is one to two years they can also live up to three years if kept in captivity. They usually live longer than a few species of flies as, during the winter times, they live in decayed wood or mostly in the soil.

How do they reproduce?

The robber flies follow the same process of producing offsprings as other flies and insects. The process starts with the courting behavior and then the copulation takes place. A female robber fly, through the help of a tube-like organ, ovipositor, lays eggs. The place of laying eggs often varies due to the different habitats of the species but they generally lay their eggs on plants, the bark of wood, or under the soil. They lay their eggs in huge numbers and it ranges from 75-150 eggs at a time. Their eggs are white in color and are oval or spherical in shape. The average length of a robber fly's egg is 0.07 in (2 mm).

What is their conservation status?

As of now, the species of robber flies are found in almost every country and a scientific study also suggests that there are around 7000 species of robber flies in the world and are primarily found in hot and arid regions, so these insects belong to the category of Least Concern. But, these insects are quite rare as they are very large in size and prey on big insects such as grasshoppers, mosquitos, wasps, moths, and many more so it becomes important for all of us to protect this species.

Robber Fly Fun Facts

What do Robber Flies look like?

We know that the robber flies are huge but many of us do not know the fact that the robber flies have three eyes and the third eye can be seen on top of the head. They have protection, also known as the mystax that can be seen.

These rare robber fly facts would make you love them

How cute are they?

If you would look at a robber fly closely, you would see the hairy body of the insect that looks scary. Also, they are quite big, have large legs, and compound eyes. Their body is divided into three parts, the head, thorax, and abdomen, and a giant robber fly can be 3 in (8 cm) long. Some people also don't like the eating habits of these flies. These flies are not at all cute but are very dominant and supreme.

How do they communicate?

The robber fly species follow the same method of communication as other insects. They use vibrations, and body movement for communicating. A study also found that these flies use their wings and legs while communicating with each other. The male and female robber flies also use courtship displays in order to attract each other.

How big is a Robber Fly?

These flies are 20 times larger than a species of flies commonly found in Thailand, Phoridae. Also, these flies are also larger than numerous bees including the bumblebees.

How fast can Robber Flies move?

We do not know the exact speed of the robber flies but for a specific reason, these flies are also called the assassin flies as their body is adapted to fast flight. They can easily catch and attack their prey while being in the air. One of the species of robber fly, Choerades fimbriata, is one of the vicious predators.

How much does a Robber Fly weigh?

The weight of a robber fly is not scientifically known but by looking at the huge size of the body, wings, and extraordinary skills, we can imagine the weight of the insect. These flies are also bigger than many of the bees, including honey bees and bumblebees and the average weight of a bumblebee is 0.00013-0.00017 lb (0.04-0.06 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male species is known as the male robber fly and the female species is known as the female robber fly.

What would you call a baby Robber Fly?

No specific name has been given to babies of robber flies. They can simply be referred to as robber fly larvae.

What do they eat?

These flies are one of the powerful predators in the world of insects. They prey on beetles, grasshoppers, mosquitos, moths, bees, wasps, and many other insects that make up the robber fly diet.

Are they harmful?

The insect is solitary and loves being alone but can harm with a robber fly bite if provoked or irritated by humans. Also, people do get scared of the robber fly sting but the stinger on the fly is not harmful.

Would they make a good pet?

The answer could be yes or no. These insects are quite unique but people generally do not pet these insects because of the predatory habits, also they would require proper spaces and ventilation.

Did you know...

These flies are one of the unique species of flies as they have a mustache called mystax. The term has been derived from the Greek language. The mystax helps the robber fly as a head and face guard while they prey.

Larger insects such as dragonflies mainly prey on robber flies.

Bumblebee vs Robber Fly

The primary difference between a bumblebee and a robber fly is that the former belongs to the family of bees while the latter belongs to the family of flies. Bumblebees are mainly found in higher altitudes and latitudes. They are native to New Zealand, Southern America, and Tasmania whereas robber flies are found in hot and arid regions and are native to all the countries except Antarctica. Most of the robber flies are even bigger than bumblebees. The bumblebees are herbivores and mainly prey on pollen, nectar, and plants whereas the robber flies are known for their eating habits. They prey on a variety of insects such as beetles, moths, mosquitos, and many more. Robber flies like other true flies have two wings but three eyes whereas bumblebees have four wings and five eyes. Both the insects usually ignore human interaction, also most of the insects of both species live under the soil.

All about Robber Fly bites

The flies do not like human intervention, but they can have a painful bite if provoked. The bite of a robber fly is not harmful to humans.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the puss moth, or bombardier beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our robber fly coloring pages.



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