Robber Fly  (four photos)
"Hanging Thief"

Diogmites angustipennis

hanging by one leg
I often wonder why this species evolved to eating their prey in this
manner. Did it all start with some double-jointed show-off and then
evolution took its course? Other robber flies eat like you would expect,
but something is unique with this group, besides the hypnotizing green
 eyes. That's why God made nature
so fascinating - the quirks pull you in
 and then you're hooked on insects! © Carol Davis
9-4-2018, Antelope Island

hanging thief by Promontory point
I got out of my car not far from Promontory Point to take a picture
of something (I can't remember what) when a saw a lightning fast insect
take another insect right out of the air. I knew immediately it had to be a
robber fly, and  I hadn't seen one all day. As soon as I saw the green
 eyes, I knew that it was a "Hanging Thief" and  I had only seen them on
Antelope Island (and not for two years), I was so excited, but afraid that
I would never get a picture.
© Carol Davis 8-21-2016, Box Elder County

the eyes of the thief
I tried getting close and it flew into a small bush and attempted to hide
from me. When I moved in closer with my little point-and-shoot camera,
it took off, dropping its prey,  I thought,
"game over", but it landed quite
close on an old ant hill.  It moved again and landed on the small plant shown
below. After that, it snatched the little black wasp out of the air and that's
 when it let me get closer.  It moved again a couple of times but never so far that
I couldn't photograph it well with my telephoto lens. 
© Carol Davis 8-21-2016

hanginging thief standing around
I shot this picture after the fly dropped its first meal. You can see
 from the first few photographs how they got the name "Hanging
 Thief" - they hang with one or two legs and hold onto their meals with
 the other legs. I went back to the same area on the way home, but I
couldn't see any robber flies, only freakin' deer flies who bit my legs the
 whole time I was taking these photographs. I just bore the pain as
 best I could because I was so desperate for pictures of this
fascinating "thief." © Carol Davis 8-21-2016

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