Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve


Insects of Cedar Creek

Order DIPTERA

Family ASILIDAE

(Robber Flies)

(Table of Species)

The Robber Flies (883 NA spp) are a conspicuous element in CCESR old fields. Others resembling bumblebees (Laphria spp) are fairly common in woodland. Michigan reports 72 species (Baker, 1975). Roughly 25 species have been collected at Cedar Creek. These voracious predators take insect prey (flies, bees, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles) on the wing and then alight to suck out the victim's hemolymph with their wicked beak. Larvae are ground-dwelling predators. Adults are keen-eyed and extremely wary. Three species of delicate Leptogaster have been collected. Two larger forms occur in woodland and a smaller species is common in prairie in early summer. Another early summer old-field species is Holopogon vockerothi . The most conspicuous Asilids of old fields in midsummer are species of Tolmerus (=Machimus) (incl. autumnalis, notatus, virginicus, manei). Proctacanthella leucopogon occurs at blowouts in xeric fields, and Neoitamus flavofemoratus appears to be a savanna species. Proctacanthus milbertii is a common large Asilid of old fields in late summer (Aug. Sept). Cyrtopogon falto is a black species of woodland. Bee-mimicking species of Laphria collected in woodland include: aktis, canis, divisor, flavicollis, index, janus, sacrator, sadales, and thoracica. Asilusparopus? and Stichopogon argenteus also collected.

REFERENCES
Baker NT and RL Fischer (1975).  A taxonomic and ecologic study of the Asilidae of Michigan.  Great Lakes Ent.  8:31-91.


webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated May, 2000