Saturday, June 04, 2005

ENV: A Cool Robber Fly

I think i'll call it the Apple-My-Eye Robber Fly -- a bit poetic, a bit descriptive.

Back in the middle of May Greg Lasley and i were in the valley doing some Odonate work, and attending Dragonfly Days 2005. Greg has lately taken to catching Robber Flies (Family Asilidae) for his friend Giff Beaton and an Asilid specialist Michael Thomas. Of course i had to get in the act as well, but i haven't been so lucky with them as i have other flying things.

So, we're at Delta Lake in northern Hidalgo County, and i see a coupled pair of red bugs that at first i think might be odes, but when i see them land i can tell they are Robbers. So i swing and actually catch them (perhaps because they're slowed by being in flagrante delicto [as i think the Latin term for it might be]). In any case, they're orangy-red, pretty obvious and with glaringly apple-green eyes.

Well, after getting shipped off, and being confirmed by the Robber Fly Guys, the ID came back as Plesiomma unicolor, apparently a pretty cool bug limited to Texas and New Mexico.

Here's a pic from Joshua Rose at Duke.

And a picture from the Eastern Asilid Key that may be some other species but has that same red color and green eyes.


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