Hornet Robberfly

Asilus crabroniformis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Flies
  4. Hornet Robberfly

About

Hornet Robberflies are predators, sitting and waiting on a suitable perch (such as a stone or pile of animal dung) for smaller insects to fly past, which they catch on the wing. They prefer dung beetles, but also eat bees and grasshoppers. The Hornet Robberfly breeds in animal dung on heathland and downland, the larvae hatching and feeding on beetle grubs in the soil.

How to identify

The Hornet Robberfly has a brown thorax and a half black and half yellow abdomen. There are 28 species of robberfly in the UK, which can be very difficult to tell apart; the Hornet Robberfly is one of the largest and most easily identified species.

Where to find it

Southern England and South Wales.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

The Hornet Robberfly has declined in recent decades due to habitat loss and the addition of harmful chemicals into their food supply. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices that benefit robberflies and other wildlife. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Hornet Robberfly
Latin name
Asilus crabroniformis
Category
Invertebrates
Flies
Statistics
Body length: 2.5cm
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.