Fly - "Hanging Thief"
also "Prairie Robber Fly"
Every year at this time (and 2013 is no exception) I find at least one Hanging Thief on Antelope Island.
I forgot my longer range camera so when I saw one of these on a sunflower leaf I tried to sneak up behind
it but it was wise to me. The next one, in another location, was just sitting on a leaf and I saw it as I was driving
slowly by. I opened the door and manged to get two photos with my little point-and-shoot and then it took off.
I looked for it again and was able to take more photos by using some leaves for camouflage. I love this insect!
There are some more photos below (my first encounter in 2011) and here (2012). © Carol Davis 8-7-2013
I was looking for bugs from my car in a sandy area on
Antelope Island when I saw an insect zoom in like a
robber fly. I grabbed the binoculars and saw a strange creature staring
back at me with bright green eyes.
At first I thought it must be a dragonfly because of the colored eyes
but then it hit me - it had to be a
"Hanging Thief" (what a great name, huh?) This is my best find EVER. I
saw three or four more in the
same area. (I like how its resting its
little butt on a pebble.) © Carol Davis, Tuesday,
I had just this week seen someone submit a photo on Bugguide
and thought how neat it would be if we had
them in Utah but it didn't appear to be the case. I found out
later that the species Diogmites angustipennis
is the only one recorded in Utah. These insects can be found hanging
off of a branch with one long foreleg
their prey with the other five legs, thus the name
"Hanging Thief". I didn't see any of them
catch an insect while I was there but, like most robber
flies, they'll eat anything they can catch. They
wouldn't let me in close for a good photo...maybe next time (I can only
hope there will be a next time!)
found no other robber flies this day, which is unusual for this time of
year. © Carol Davis, 8-16-2011
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