There are over 7,000 species of robber flies world wide; nearly 1,000 in North America. All robber flies have stout, spiny legs, a dense mustache of bristles on the face (mystax), and 3 simple eyes (ocelli) in a characteristic depression between their two large compound eyes. The mystax helps protect the head and face when the fly encounters prey bent on defense. The antennae are short, 3-segmented, sometimes with a bristle-like structure called an arista.The short, strong proboscis is used to stab and inject victims with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which paralyze and digest the insides; then fly then sucks the liquefied meal much like we vacuum up an ice cream soda through a straw. Many species have long, tapering abdomens, sometimes with a sword-like ovipositor (you can see it here). I was a little nervous while focusing on this LARGE fly. I wasn’t so sure about being so close to it and, sure enough, after I got this shot it took off and flew right into my ear. EEEK!!! I ran screaming like a little girl, flailing my arms like I was on fire. Thankfully I didn’t damage my Nikon D3100 or my Nikon 85mm macro lens. Both of which I used to capture this terrifying giant. This hilarious episode took place in my front yard in Rockaway, NJ.

View it LARGE, if you dare! =)

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fly, robber fly, insect, bug

I’ve always appreciated nature, but I didn’t show interest in photography until digital started to come into it’s own. I had many cheap cameras over the years, but when I got the Nikon D3100 for my birthday last year, I really started to realize what photography was all about. I’ve had such a blast learning on the go over the past 10 months. I’ve gotten shots that I could have only dreamed of a year ago. I hope you all enjoy my photos, and by all means, BUY SOMETHING! =)

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  • lorilee
    lorileeover 3 years ago

    A W E S O M E

  • Thanks lorilee. It’s a very cool looking insect for sure, but it SCARED me. LOL =)

    – William Brennan

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Awesome detail Bill

  • Always great to hear from you Larry. Thanks for the fave. =)

    – William Brennan

  • Barbara  Brown
    Barbara Brownover 3 years ago

    A great capture!

  • Thank you Barbara. I risked life and limb to get it. LOL. =)

    – William Brennan

  • Briar Richard
    Briar Richardover 3 years ago

    Awesome closeup, Bill! So sharp! Embarrassing moments are a little easier to share when you get a marvelous photo like this one!!

  • You are right about that Briar. I also provided some comic relief for my neighbor. LOL. Thanks again for stopping by. =)

    – William Brennan

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • Always a pleasure Ray. =)

    – William Brennan

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 3 years ago

    16 July 2011 – 1 image per day

    Great macro shot!

  • Thanks Konstantinos! =)

    – William Brennan

  • Sinclere
    Sinclereover 3 years ago

  • The feature is much appreciated Sinclere. =)

    – William Brennan

  • marens
    marensover 3 years ago

    stunning capture Bill!!!

  • Thanks so much marens. =)

    – William Brennan

  • AngieBanta
    AngieBantaover 3 years ago


  • That’s very kind of you to say Angie. Thanks. =)

    – William Brennan

  • Istvan froghunter
    Istvan froghunterover 3 years ago

    Awesome macro shot Bill!

  • Thanks again Istvan. Always great to hear from you. =)

    – William Brennan

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