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The Robber Flies (Diptera: Asilidae) of Virginia USA

Last updated almost 4 years ago

This list is based on P. Bedell. 2010. A Preliminary List of the Robber Flies (Diptera: Asilidae) of Virginia. Banisteria 36: 3-19.

  • 87850_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Andrenosoma fulvicaudum

    Widespread in the United States, but apparently rare in Virginia. The yellow-tipped abdomen is distinctive in the field. In the western US, it is attracted to forest fire burns.

  • 80452_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Apachekolos tenuipes

    A Robber Fly

    This species flies mostly in late summer and fall. Its very long hind legs make it distinctive and recognizable in the field. I have found it in dry woods.

  • 79188_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Asilus flavipes

    A Robber Fly

    A common fairly small species of woodlands. Widespread throughout Virginia. Often perches on small woody branches, never exposed out at the tip. And does not perch on leaves or on the ground.

  • 21816_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Asilus sericeus

    A Robber Fly

    Widespread, but not common, in unmowed fields. Fairly large, but remains mostly inconspicuous down in the thick grass where it hunts. Its reddish-brown color is like a diogmites.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Atomosia glabrata

    I have only seen these as museum specimens. Apparently rare and local throughout its range (Barnes, 2008)

    Barnes, J. K. 2008. The genus Atomosia Macquart (Diptera:Asilidae) in North America. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Washington. 110(3) 701-732.
  • 38410_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Atomosia puella

    A Robber Fly

    Common and widespread, but very small and easily overlooked. Often occurs in small groups. Perches head down on any available vertical surface including tree trunks, fence posts, chairs, walls, etc. Probably occurs statewide.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Atomosia rufipes

    Widespread in eastern North America, but not nearly as abundant as A. puella. Yellow-legged, with the hind tibia tipped with black. The few I have observed were perched on leaf surfaces.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Atomosia sayii

    A very small robber fly with entirely yellow legs. Not common in Virginia.

  • 61503_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Beameromyia disfascia

    The only state records for this very small species are museum specimens at Harvard MCZ and the Smithsonian, and are both from Fairfax County.

  • 71244_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Beameromyia floridensis

    The only record for Virginia is a museum specimen at the United States National Museum from Virginia Beach (Martin, 1957).

    Martin, C. H., 1957. A revision of the Leptogastrinae in the United States (Diptera: Asilidae). Bull. of the Amer. Museum of Natural History 111, Article 5, 343-386.
  • 48167_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Beameromyia pictipes

    I found this very small species to be common in the grasses on the coastal sand dunes at First Landing State Park. Also found in old fields.

  • 43211_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Beameromyia vulgaris

    Another very small species that I know only from a few old museum specimens collected in northern Virgina. Three specimens at the NMNH were collected in Maryland on "waste ground".

  • 17903_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Ceraturgus aurulentus

    A very rare species. “Fewer than two dozen specimens have been collected in the past 200 years” (Barnes, 2008). The Virginia specimen from the NMNH was collected “near Plummer’s Island”, which is in the Potomac Gorge just west of Washington, D.C.

    Barnes, J. K. 2008. Review of the genus Ceraturgus Wiedemann (Diptera: Asilidae) in North America north of Mexico. Zootaxa 1766: 1-45.
  • 39956_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Ceraturgus cruciatus

    This species, the most common and widespread member of the genus in Virginia, was recently resurrected and split from the Midwestern C. cruciatus (Say) (Barnes, 2008). It is a mimic of Vespula wasps. My Hanover Co. specimen was found in an unmowed pasture of native forbs and grasses in a powerline right-of-way.

    Barnes, J. K. 2008. Review of the genus Ceraturgus Wiedemann (Diptera: Asilidae) in North America north of Mexico. Zootaxa 1766: 1-45.
  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Ceraturgus elizabethae

    The last specimen collected in Virginia was taken in 1928. Nelson County is represented by four specimens at the NMNH spanning the years 1913-1928, but labeled without habitat or specific locality data.

  • 62941_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Ceraturgus mitchelli

    The first record for Virginia was a specimen taken on 28 May 2009 in Alleghany county in an old field. Just two days later, I, along with Mike Thomas, Steve Krotzer, and Giff Beaton, took some more specimens in an old field in Carroll County.

  • 72101_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Cerotainia albipilosa

    A Robber Fly

    A small woodland robber fly with long antennae, a silvery face, and white hairs.

    Scarbrough, A. G., & A. Norden. 1977. Ethology of Cerotainia albipilosa Curran in Maryland. Proc. of the Entomol. Soc. of Washington 79: 538-554.
  • 42323_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Cerotainia macrocera

    A Robber Fly

    LIke C. albipilosa, but with a golden face and less conspicuous hairs. A leaf sitter in my experience. I have seen it perched on poison ivy and pawpaw leaves in woodlands.

  • 93248_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Cyrtopogon laphriformis

    Only one record for Virginia of this poorly known species, a female captured on riparian vegetation at Breaks Interstate Park. There is photograph from Maryland. Otherwise recorded only from PA and NH.

  • 83699_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Cyrtopogon lutatius

    A Robber Fly

    Rather small, inconspicuous, and uncommon. I have found them only in scattered locations, where they perch on downed tree trunks in sunny openings of deciduous woods. Primarily found in May. I have seen one on the same log with Laphria cinerea.

  • 00714_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Cyrtopogon marginalis

    This one barely made the list. Ernest Back, way back in 1909, mentions a female specimen from "Va." with no details. Eric Fisher's unpub. catalog gives the range as Ont. and NH, s. to Mich. and Georgia. There are some nice photos of this poorly known species from Mass. taken by Tom Murray on BugGuide.

    Back, E. A., 1909. The robber-flies of North America.... Transactions of the American Entomological Society. 35: 137-400
  • 99243_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Diogmites basalis

    A rather dark chestnut-colored species of the northeastern US. In Virginia its occurrences are in the higher elevation western counties.

  • 78392_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Diogmites discolor

    Can be common in unmowed overgrown fields such as found at Tucker park in Goochland County. Often prey on bees.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Diogmites misellus

    A Robber Fly

    A smaller Diogmites, with the central thoracic stripe fading to red apically.

  • 03177_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Diogmites neoternatus

    The most common and widespread Diogmites in Virginia. Occurs in mid- to late-summer. Prefers to hunt in thick vegetation, but occasionally enters buildings or can be found on screens. Our only Diogmites with an unmarked abdomen.

  • 53814_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Diogmites salutans

    I have found this fairly large species to be fairly common in the overgrow meadow of a power line cut at Cherry Orchard Bog Natural Area Preserve in Surrey County . Like other Diogmites, often takes hymenoptera as prey.

  • 53506_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Echthodopa formosa

    I am not aware of any museum specimens from Virginia, nor have I observed this species in the field. Its range is described as “Mass. to Miss. and Ga.” (Fisher & Wilcox, 1997), but records within this range are few and scattered (Adisoemarto & Wood, 1975). Back (1909) lists Virginia without details, so I include it here rather than in the hypothetical list. Three specimens at the NMNH are from “Cheat Mountain, West Virginia.” This location in Randolph County is not very far west of Highland County, Virginia.

    Adisoemarto, S., & D. M. Wood. 1975. The Nearctic species of Dioctria and six related genera (Diptera, Asilidae). Quaestiones Entomologicae 11: 505-576.
  • 43730_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Efferia aestuans

    One of our most common robber flies and likely found statewide. Found in woodlands and suburbs.

  • 61251_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Efferia albibarbis

    Common on sunny sandy areas like coastal beaches. Most Virginia records are from the coastal plain. The small size and white mystax separate this species from other Efferia in Virginia.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Efferia kondratieffi

    A small Efferia recently described from western Virginia. Closely related to E. aestuans. Named after my pal Boris!

    Bullington, S. W., & R. J. Lavigne. 1984. Description and habitat of Efferia kondratieffi sp. nov. with notes on Efferia aestuans (L.) (Diptera: Asilidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 77: 404-413.
  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Efferia plena

    Eastern United States records of E. nemoralis (Hine) have been redescribed as E. plena (Barnes, 2007); E. nemoralis is now considered to be restricted to the south-central states. My Charles City Co. record was collected by Arthur Evans at the Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery where it was perched on the ground around the ponds. Museum records for this species throughout the East are very sparse (Barnes, 2007).

    Barnes, J.K., 2007. The identity and distribution of Efferia Plena (Hine) and E. nemoralis (Hine) (Diptera: Asilidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 109(1) 208-222.
  • 97339_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Efferia pogonias

    A blackish efferia of late summer. A ground percher, and they fly with a buzzy sound. Mystax is golden-yellow. The female ovipositor is split at the very tip.

  • 76737_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Eudioctria albius

    This small dark leaf-percher of woodlands can be distinguished from others in its genus by the katatergite being silver pollinose only along the top edge, and the dorsum of the thorax with bare spots on either side. Virginia records are from the higher elevation western counties.

  • 72577_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Eudioctria brevis

    An Appalachian species. A small woodland leaf-percher, mostly shining black.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Eudioctria tibialis

    The behavior of this species has been studied in Maryland (Scarbrough, 1981). The study sites were in forest clearings where E. tibialis first emerged in early June, rapidly reached maximum abundance, and was largely gone by mid-July. Adults were estimated to have a lifespan of two to three weeks.

    Scarbrough, A. G. 1981. Ethology of Eudioctria tibialis Banks (Diptera: Asilidae) in Maryland: Seasonal distribution, abundance, diurnal movements, and behaviors. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 83: 245-257
  • 62495_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Heteropogon macerinus

    This is an uncommon late summer to autumn species. Dennis et al. (2008) report pupal cases with pinned adults labeled “Rockymount, VA” from the Charles Triplehorn Insect Collection at Ohio State University.

    Dennis, D. S., J. K. Barnes, & D. Knutson. 2008. Pupal cases of Nearctic robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae). Zootaxa 1868: 1-98.
  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Holcocephala abdominalis

    A Robber Fly

    Very closely related, and difficult to distinguish from H. fusca. Antennae and hind tibia shape are possible methods to separate the two.

    Pritchard, A.E. 1938. Synopsis of North and Central American Holcocephala with a description of a new species (Diptera: Asildae). Journal New York Ent. Soc. 46: 11-21
  • 54533_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Holcocephala calva

    A Robber Fly

    More grayish-brown, and the wings not as dark as abdominalis/fusca. A species of old fields in my experience, and found in the western part of Virginia.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Holcocephala fusca

    Near Fairfax, Virginia, H. fusca occurred along forest edges adjacent to large open areas rather than small forest clearings, and was never observed in the shaded forest interior (Dennis, 1979). They generally foraged from twig tips of blackberry and rose, from 30 to 120 cm above the ground.

    Dennis, D. S. 1979. Ethology of Holcocephala fusca in Virginia (Diptera: Asilidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 81: 366-378.
    Bromley, S.W. 1951. Asilid notes (Diptera), with descriptions of thirty-two new species. American Museum Novitates 1532; 1-36
  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Holopogon guttulus

    This genus is made of tiny twig-sitters. This species is poorly known in Virginia.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Holopogon oriens

    A Robber Fly

    The first records of this species in Virginia were taken by myself and Mike Thomas in Carroll County in an old field.

  • 68182_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Holopogon phaeonotus

    A Robber Fly

    Easily the most common and widespread of the genus in Virginia. I have recorded as many as fifty individuals on a field outing at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County.

  • 85396_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Lampria bicolor

    This attractive species seems to be rather uncommon, but widespread in the eastern part of the state. It perches on leaves, often in riparian areas.

  • 65002_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria affinis

    In Virginia, this is the only Laphria to occur in the fall. Records go into mid-November!

  • 07586_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria aktis

    A beautiful golden fly . Very similar to L. sericea, and needs to be identified by magnification. Found in deciduous woodland.

  • Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria champlainii

    A large northeastern species. Only one museum specimen, but Steve Bullington has collected it in southwest Virginia "many times".

  • 63791_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria cinerea

    One of the first robber flies of the spring. Occurs as early as late March in warm years. Perches on downed logs in pine woods.

  • 81988_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria divisor

    A Robber Fly

    In Virginia, records are from higher elevations mostly in western counties. Also occurs in the Bull Run Mountains in northern Virginia.

  • 71739_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria ithypyga

    Similar to L. index with the narrow abdomen covered with golden hairs, and a golden triangle on the dorsum of the thorax. Apparently much less common than L. index. And my two records are from opposite ends of the state.

  • 41785_88_88 Animalia > Asilidae

    Laphria posticata

    A Robber Fly

    A northern species, but occurs south in the Appalachians to Tenn. and Georgia. Virginia records are from June and July in wooded areas of the mountains.